How often have you heard the questions “Do you want to get a drink after work?” or “Are you going to Happy Hour?” It’s no secret that in America, the majority of the population enjoys socializing at some point during the week in a bar or nightclub.
There are bars to fit nearly every type of personality – karaoke bars, laid back neighborhood pubs, comedy clubs, dance clubs, and more. While most patrons enjoy the time they spend with friends, family, and coworkers in these settings, all it takes is the right mix of alcohol and anger to result in the drunken assault of an individual.
Why Alcohol can Lead to Aggressive Behavior
Studies show that there is a strong link between a lack of serotonin in the brain and an increase in aggressive behavior. Not surprisingly, it is also known that consuming alcohol can alter the way that serotonin is metabolized in the body.
Alcohol lowers the amount of anxiety that a person feels in a social setting. This, in turn, can reduce the fear of consequences. When someone doesn’t think of the consequences, such as getting hurt or the possibility of being arrested, they are more likely to act on their first impulse. Lowered anxiety combined with increased aggression lead to individuals acting on those impulses, for example, throwing the first punch in a bar fight.
How Should Establishments Handle Drunk Individuals?
Michael Halloran, Trevor Dougherty, and Christopher Roithmayr all thought they were going to enjoy their evening out on May 4th, 2014. Little did they know that, by the time they would return home, they would have suffered serious injuries including a broken nose, broken bone of the eye socket, damaged nerves, lacerations, bruising, and a concussion.
The three men suffered these injuries around closing time at a local bar, after being attacked by two other patrons – Andre Borican and DeAndre Borican. The attack occurred after Halloran told Andre Borican to move from where he was blocking the stairway of the bar. Bar security was not in the vicinity and failed to intervene.
Bar and nightclub owners should train their bouncers and other staff to diffuse situations that may lead to potential assaults. These tactics include:
- Identifying patrons who are visibly intoxicated and cutting them off. If a bar continues to serve to a visibly intoxicated individual and that individual proceeds to assault someone else, the bar can be held liable for the damage done.
- Increase security. Hire bouncers to help manage the crowd and defuse any tense situations.
- Install security cameras with independent monitors.
- Pay attention to lighting. While you may want to provide a certain level of ambiance, studies have shown that the darker the room, the more likely a fight is to break out.
- Control the amount of available space. Naturally, people feel more aggressive when their personal space is invaded. Avoid rising tensions by making sure the room isn’t too crowded.
Drunken assaults don’t just result in bruising and broken bones, it can also lead to an untimely death. Recently, tour manager De’Von Pickett, who worked for well-known rap artist Nicki Minaj, was stabbed to death after being involved in a bar fight. It is possible this death could have been prevented if the risk had been identified earlier, and the situation diffused.
What To Do If You Or A Loved One Has Been Drunkenly Assaulted
- Contact the police as quickly as possible.
- Seek medical attention. Document any injuries that you have with a medical professional.
- Report your injuries to the bar owner or manager.
- If possible, collect information from witnesses.
What Are My Legal Options?
It is possible, depending on the circumstances, that both your assailant and a third party can be held responsible for your injuries. In New York, there is a Dram Shop Statute that allows recovery from the bar or nightclub that served the alcohol to the aggressor. The attorneys at Banville Law will help you determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek proper compensation for your pain and suffering.
Our assault victims’ lawyers always work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing until we win your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.