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Under New York Law, bartenders, shopkeepers, wait staff and other persons who serve alcoholic beverages to "visibly intoxicated" persons can cause their employers to be held legally responsible for injuries or death to innocent third parties. This liability extends not only to motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers, but also to victims of assaults or brawls precipitated by continuing to serve intoxicated patrons.

Employees who serve alcohol are trained to see if patrons have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, exhibit loud or abusive behavior, or have problems with balance. They are expected to use good judgment in whether or not to continue to serve a patron who appears to be drunk.

Parents or other adults who serve alcohol or provide drugs to minors at parties in their home can similarly be held responsible if injuries result.

Enjoy the holidays—-but let common sense prevail.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of such poor judgment, consult an attorney to explain and protect your rights.

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