Friday, February 15, 2008

Liquor Liability

This is for all you that host parties, weddings and serve or sell beer at an establishment in Nebraska. Did you know that the Liquor Liability laws changed in this state effective January 1st of this year? Do you know what the major change entails?

I knew about the change awhile back, mainly because my real life is in selling insurance, and this week I was in a couple training classes to help us (insurance professionals) better understand what the law change means and what we can do for our clients.

So, as a public service I thought I would put some info out there for you. The law basically allows victims, that are caused harm by minors that were partaking in alcoholic beverages at or from your resident or business, to sue you or your business for damages. Nebraska used to be a state that you were responsible for your own actions, with the passing of this law, others can be found responsible for the actions. Currently it is only minors but every indication is that this will go for adults too.

I can't tell you the implications this can have in your home and your business. From a business standpoint you can get Liquor Liability insurance on your policies but that will become increasingly difficult and prohibitively expensive. From a personal standpoint, protect and secure your alcohol so that it is not easily accessible by minors and if you have parties, monitor your party goers so that they don't leave and hurt themselves and/or others.

I personally do not like this change and definitely don't like where it is heading. We used to be one of the best states in the country with regards to these issues, they call it a common law state, as in "common" sense, if you choose to drink and drive or fight or whatever, you should have common sense enough to know that the bar owner bares no responsibility for your actions.

Man, I love our litigious society but there you go. Discuss these things with your insurance agent and make sure you are properly covered and use common sense when having parties and people over for drinks. Also, be on the watch for future bills that could turn this into more than a minor issue.

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