There's no Pennsylvania team in the World Series this year, but that doesn't meant that baseball fans here won't be watching to see how the annual Fall Classic plays out. For bar owners across the state, it may be a moment to reinforce in their own minds and those of their employees that they have a responsibility to ensure their patrons don't overindulge and then drive.
Drunk driving prevention needs to be a priority for all of us, but in instances when a bar patron is over-served to the point of clear intoxication, bar operators should expect to face questions of liability if the patron gets into an accident causing injury or death.
Concern over this issue has prompted the mayor of Boston to issue a clear warning to bar operators in his town during the World Series. Besides reinforcing the typical rules against over serving, the mayor warned bars and restaurants to be vigilant in making sure they don't serve minors.
But in addition, Mayor Thomas M. Menino noted that businesses, especially in the vicinity of Fenway Park, will be expected to manage crowds. City officials say they expect capacity limits for businesses to be enforced and they don't want crowds allowed to gather outside bars to watch games on TV through the windows.
And in anticipation of possible unrest in the event of a clinching game, there are rules for clearing outdoor patios and making sure that any loose items, like signs or furniture, that could be hurled, have been secured or removed.
Not all the business operators are happy with the restrictions. One says he's worried that tough enforcement might drive away possible return customers in the future. But another, recalling that three people have died in the past 10 years in sports-related riots, says the rules make sense.
Source: BostonHerald.com, "City puts Series of rules on bars," Marie Szaniszlo and O'ryan Johnson, Oct. 23, 2013