Bar patrons in Missouri usually do not expect violence to erupt while they are out having a good time. However, sometimes situations get out of hand. It is the responsibility of the entities that facilitate drinking to prevent these altercations from happening, but they occasionally lapse in their duties.
This was likely the case when a local man was shot as a result of a seemingly innocuous argument. ABC 13 reported about the alleged assault, which escalated quickly and ended in the death of one of the participants in the local alcohol-related incident. This is a rare and extreme case of violence surrounding alcohol, but less extreme events are common.
Knife violence in bar fights is also an unfortunate danger. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported about two men stabbed while leaving a bar. This poses the legal question of whether or not the business is liable for the violence. Courts sometimes assign liability to businesses for losses occurring from violent crimes, such as in the case of the dram shop laws.
Thankfully, relatively few bar violence incidents involve the severity of the previous two examples. This implies some level of care and responsibility on the part of the businesses or government institutions required to ensure the safety of their patrons.
However, anyone involved in a case of violence, assault or excessive force at a drinking gathering should take the event seriously. Alcohol is all too often an aggravating factor, and any manager or organizer who fails to predict and control rowdy or violent behavior could end up on the wrong side of the law.