Many people, usually when they were younger, had this happen to them. They are out celebrating something or “letting off steam” and the bartender or waitress tells them they cannot have another drink.
Businesses that serve alcohol do this for a good reason, which in the end, benefits all of us.
Any business that serves alcohol has specific legal obligations with respect to the service of alcohol, the most common of which is not to serve alcohol to minors. However, there are also limitations on serving people of any age.
These businesses cannot serve alcohol to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Businesses are supposed to closely monitor the alcohol consumption of their customers and observe their appearance before serving alcohol. The business is supposed to provide training to their staff with respect to detecting and monitoring alcohol consumption. Anyone who has consumed excessive amounts of alcohol or appears to be intoxicated must be cut off.
The management and the staff (i.e. waitresses and bartenders) are responsible for making this determination. If they continue to serve alcohol to intoxicated patrons they face significant criminal and civil liability. If a drunk patron leaves the business and causes a crash while driving drunk, the business and the staff may be responsible.
Remember this the next time you are cut off at a bar – the bar is doing it to protect themselves, protect you and protect the general public.