With schools and colleges here in Tucson having a reputation for underage drinking, it’s worth having a look at the potential liability for adults, especially when a teenager or young adult causes a wrongful death. The worrisome fact is that underage drinking is on the rise throughout Pima County. The results are often disastrous, and adults should take notice.

Sellers should beware of serving kids or young adults

In Arizona as well as in other states, courts have long held business owners liable for a variety of offenses if they knowingly serve alcohol to minors. Obviously, almost all bar staff and shop clerks are leery enough to “card” prospective buyers who appear young, yet adults’ responsibilities may extend even further than simply refusing direct sales to minors.

Arizona has harsh “dram shop” laws that allow family members of wrongful death victims to hold alcohol sellers fully accountable for their actions. This means that anyone who sells alcohol to a minor (or adult) whose inebriation later causes that person to kill or injure someone, both the selling establishment and the individual seller may be held liable.

Kids can be sly when it comes to obtaining alcohol

Bar, restaurant and venue owners as well as staff should take extra care when fresh young faces appear in their establishments and want to be served, even when they show ID. It’s also important for bar staff and shopkeepers to keep their eyes open for “straw buyer” adults who may sometimes be convinced to “hand off” alcohol to minors.

When in doubt, it’s best to simply decline the sale…. There are plenty of adult customers already. After all, judges and juries are more likely to take the position that adults “should have known better” than to fall prey to juvenile tricksters in search of alcohol.

If an underage drinker slips through the cracks

When an underage drinker goes overboard, bad things can happen. Whether the condition results from a college drinking party or a solo binge, a drunken youngster’s night of revelry can forever change the lives of family and community.

We always hope that the outcome will merely be a hangover that convinces the drinker to stop, yet the reality is sometimes much worse. Because of the large number of schools and universities here in the Tucson area, underage drinkers often wreak havoc ranging from property damage to wrongful death on the roadway.

When you need help 

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of underage drinking, you need professional legal help. When your own child has been affected by the actions of his or her peers, or if your family has been affected by a drunk driver on a Pima County roadway, you should contact Bob Barber Law in Tucson.

Bob Barber is Tucson’s leading wrongful death attorney. He can investigate the circumstances, help hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, and win the financial compensation that you deserve.

To learn more, call Bob Barber today at 520-293-4440