Snowbird ski resort in Utah is facing a lawsuit for unlawful sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person following an assault at their facilities during Oktoberfest.
One too many
The lawsuit stems from an incident during Oktoberfest last year when a few loud, obnoxious party-goers had consumed more than their share of beer. While boarding a tram up the mountain, a South Ogden couple and their adult son politely asked the drunken group to control their language in the presence of children, and instead they became victims of a physical attack. Besides an injured ankle, most of the injuries were due to repeated blows to the head of both the father and his 24 year old son. Although the assailants have been charged with the assault, the injured family believes that because the ski resort engaged in unlawful sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person, they should also be held accountable for the attack.
Facilities responsibility for alcohol sales
According to Utah Code 32B-4-404, “A person may not sell, offer for sale, or furnish an alcoholic product to: a person who is actually or apparently intoxicated; or a person whom the person furnishing the alcoholic product knows or should know from the circumstances is actually or apparently intoxicated.” 32B-2-201 adds that the person [or business] responsible for unlawful sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons is liable for “any and all injury and damage, except punitive, to a third person.”
Oktoberfest = Beer…and lots of it
Nearly all states have rules regarding unlawful sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person. Oktoberfest however, the German festival centered almost entirely on beer, continues to be a popular celebration in several cities across the nation. With this celebration known for its beer, it can be assumed that those attending will undoubtedly be consuming alcoholic beverages, and lots of it. Therefore, most visitors to Oktoberfest would be “know[n] from the circumstances [to be] apparently intoxicated. “ Even with this knowledge, licenses continue to be issued each year to those facilities hosting Oktoberfest. As long as these festivals are permitted, business owners shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of a few of their drunken patrons, and those attending should expect a certain level of intoxication from the crowd. Contact an experienced attorney for more information on unlawful sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person.