New Year’s Eve is the perfect excuse to get together with your best friends, grab a drink, and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. But if you decide to go this route, remember to take care.
You might already know that New Year’s Day is the most dangerous day of the year for drunk driving accidents due to people leaving New Year’s parties intoxicated, but there are things you should watch out for even before you get on the road. What are they?
Rowdy clubgoers. Most people go out on New Year’s Eve because they want to be with people that they love when the clock counts down and the calendar changes from one year to the next. Unfortunately, for some people drinking and fighting go hand in hand, and a few even head out looking for trouble. If someone attacks you without provocation at a bar or club, they should be charged with a crime. But the establishment should also be held liable if they weren’t able to provide the necessary security to prevent the incident from occurring.
Pickpockets. Loud clubs full of drunken people are easy pickings for experienced pickpockets. If you want to hold on to your money and credit cards, keep your wallet or purse in a safe place. You may also be able to show that the establishment was negligent because they should have known about the potential issue and protected customers against it.
Slippery floors. With hundreds of people drinking and dancing… and then drinking some more, you can almost guarantee that some of those drinks are going to be dropped. Bars and clubs need to be on top of this so they can warn people about the danger and clean it up as soon as possible. If they ignore the problem or aren’t able to deal with it in a timely manner, you may be able to hold them responsible for any injuries that you sustain from a fall.
Dangerous obstacles. It’s hard enough to navigate many clubs and bars when you’re sober and the lights are on; after a night of New Year’s Eve partying, anything that might be frustrating normally can become downright dangerous. Establishments need to watch out for uneven floors, promotional standees, broken lights, glass shards from dropped drinks, and more. Anyone who is hurt by something that a bar or club should have been aware of and fixed needs to make sure the establishment takes responsibility.
Overserving. While everyone has to take personal responsibility regarding the amount that they drink, Florida has laws against overserving people alcohol. Establishments that serve alcoholic beverages have to be careful that they don’t knowingly allow someone to drink who has a problem with abuse or is obviously intoxicated. These cases can be difficult to prove, but often when someone finally does file suit against a particular bar or club, other evidence comes to light suggesting that this kind of thing has happened numerous times before. By fighting back, you can break the cycle.
Remember, the vast majority of people who decide to head out on New Year’s Eve have lots of fun and nothing bad happens to them. You should absolutely celebrate the holiday in the way that you want. But if you do choose to go to a bar or club this year, knowing the possible dangers ahead of time can save from the hassle of being an experienced attorney.
Happy & Healthy New Year to all! Remember to not Drink and Drive! Lets make 2015 a safe one.
About the Author: Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”