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Approximately 10,000 vehicle-related fatalities involve a drunk driver each year. Not only are these people liable for their actions, the establishments where they were drinking are also susceptible to punishment for over-serving clientele who then injure a third party. These types of lawsuits are not inexpensive. Well-known liquor liability cases include the Outback Steakhouse, Which was ordered to pay $39 million by an Indiana jury after a patron of the restaurant chain struck the plaintiff with his car, and T.G.I. Friday's, which was ordered to pay $1 million to the parents of two 16-year-old teenagers who were killed after being involved in an accident with a drunk driver. Witnesses in the case claimed that the patron at T.G.I. Friday's was drinking for eight hours at the establishment before the accident occurred. Prevention Through Education: The most important defense against liquor liability is prevention through education. It is imperative that you design a liquor liability training program for staff members who will serve alcoholic beverages to customers. In these training sessions, employees will learn important information such as how to determine if someone has had too much to drink, how to deny a patron service and how to identify valid forms of identification to prevent serving alcohol to minors. Once an employee has completed the training, he or she should sign an agreement form outlining that they comply with and understand the policies set forth by the establishment. Signs Of Intoxication: It is important that employees learn to recognize the signs of intoxication, which include: * Slurred or slow speech * tendency to lose a train of thought easily * Red eyes or inability to focus * Decreased alertness * Staggering or inability to walk * inhibited motor skills, such as the inability to light a cigarette * Drinking faster than normal * Being overly friendly
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