U.S. Airways is now suing the state of New Mexico, claiming that they do not have the right to deny them a liquor license. [KVIA]


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  1. sleze69 says:


  2. Buran says:

    @sleze69: No, the link is pointing back to the last story because it’s a followup. I know, it confused me the first time I saw one of these, too.

    I think the suit is baseless, but I also think the denial is ridiculous. Why don’t bars get theirs pulled after irresponsible idiots drive home drunk, too?

  3. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    You have to click on the KVIA link, which doesn’t seem to be normal practice for Consumerist. How about it, Meg?

  4. Sudonum says:

    If you read the previous posts, it more than likely because US Airways has refused to respond to the citation they were issued previously.

  5. @GreatCaesarsGhost: It’s normal, especially where the article they got the story from doesn’t give much information. Also, all the posts where they list several items that have been recalled are always in this format.

  6. @Buran: I don’t even understand the airline’s argument. If it isn’t the state that has the power to issue and revoke liquor licenses then who is it? The federal government?

  7. Buran says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: That’s why I said the suit is baseless — it’s the “we’re blaming you guys for what someone does after they leave your establishment” part that has me confused.

  8. Buran says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Grr. I don’t think my reply went up. I clarified, and said that that’s not what confuses me. It’s the “so we’re expected to police what you do after you leave our establishment!?” part.

  9. legotech says:

    Yeah, its called Dram Shop laws, if you as a bartender, pub owner, waiter, restaurant owner, christmas party host, housewarming party host, bbq host, serve someone enough liquor to get them drunk and then they go out and get into an accident/hurt/maim/kill someone…you can be held responsible.

    Thats why you can’t sign for shipped wine if you are drunk :)


  10. cde says:

    No, its more of a “We expect you not to allow someone to drink or get drunk enough to kill someone from an intoxicated state”

  11. Buran says:

    @legotech: Someone tried suing under those rules here in St. Louis — a guy went out and got drunk, then sped down the highway in an SUV while blabbing on his cell phone, was speeding, and rammed right into a tow truck that had its flashers on and had stopped to help a motorist. The guy died instantly on impact.

    His family then sued the tow truck driver, blaming him for being in the way, sued the motorist with the disabled car (like it’s HIS fault!!?), tried to sue the restaurant under the laws you mentioned, and generally made asses of themselves. The icing on the cake was trying to claim that the restaurant FORCED the guy to get drunk when he bought those drinks of his own free will.

    The judge threw the case out of court, and there was massive public outrage. If you’re stupid enough to drink, drive, speed, talk on a cell phone, and not use your brakes AT ALL when coming up on the flashies by the side of the road, you deserve to be Darwinned, and you better have a family that isn’t so self-serving that it becomes the laughingstock of town.

    (Now, of course, we have the MySpace fiasco…)

    So no, you can’t use “Well, soandso sold me the booze!” excuse to get them in trouble. There has to be actual fault, and from what I’ve read of this case, it doesn’t seem there was any.

  12. Buran says:

    @cde: It’s impossible to know how someone will behave after they’ve left your shop. This only makes sense if we can prove that humans can foretell the future. Where’s the studies proving that? If this guy had been raising a ruckus on the flight we’d have heard about it since the news media jumps all over everything if someone so much as looks at a flight attendant the wrong way thes edays.

  13. cde says:

    @Buran: No, because those laws normally don’t allow for civil recompensation by the person (or their family), for those same reasons you mention
    // If you’re stupid enough to drink, drive, speed, talk on a cell phone, and not use your brakes AT ALL when coming up on the flashies by the side of the road, you deserve to be Darwinned //
    What they do normally allow is for fines and punishments by the license provider (the city) for not following the rules the city placed as a condition for obtaining the license. Now, in your St. Louis example, the tow truck driver could have a case against the bar/restaurant that served the guy that much. The restaurant has certain guidelines they need to follow, and at the point the guy was starting to smell, stumble, or slam back four 70% shots in 10 minutes, they have a responsibility to EVERYONE ELSE to stop serving the guy alcohol, and call the cops if they see him driving away. The laws are not there to remove any liability the drunk has, but to essentially force a social conscious for the Public Good/Safety.

    All in all, the drunk died, who cares, but he hit someone. THATS the problem they want to prevent.

  14. gravrain says:

    Being a resident of New Mexico and former bartender in this state, I can tell you that New Mexico has Third Party Liability laws when it comes to drunk driving. It was one of the things drilled into us in the State Alcohol Certification class that you have to take.
    The State has the authority to prosecute the drunk driver, the bartender, and the bar owners for anything related to drunk driving. Usually this only gets put into effect when a drunk driver gets in an accident and someone dies. And bars do get their liquor licenses pulled for the same thing. In Las Cruces, where I live, a 19 year old frat kid died of alcohol poisoning after going to a bar where his frat buddies worked the door and the bar. As a result of which two bars in town closed, because the same party held the liquor license.