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Bartenders can play a role in road safety

Dear Sir,

I am writing as a citizen concerned about the amount of liquor that patrons of various bars across the island are allowed to consume before driving home.

I have seen, on countless occasions, people stumbling out of bars and on to their motorbikes, zigzagging down the windy, dangerous roads of Bermuda.

I have had friends cry on my shoulder about their husbands coming home intoxicated to the point that their eyes are rolling to the back of their heads and they are unable to speak — after they have driven themselves home.

We can argue for days about where the responsibility lies in maintaining a safe drinking culture here in Bermuda. However, I am writing to ask the waiters, bartenders and bar owners across the island to start taking more responsibility for the condition of their patrons.

As we all know, alcohol lowers one's inhibitions, giving the drinker a false security of being capable of operating a motor vehicle.

We simply cannot trust those who have been drinking to make a rational decision about how to make it home safely, and this is where bar staff need to step in and take responsibility to keep the entire community safe. It is simply unethical to serve people well beyond the legal limit and then pay no mind to how these people get home.

This lack of responsibility and accountability puts every single member of our community at risk of being hurt or killed.

It is time for Bermuda to do better before more innocent lives are lost on these roads.That being said, as a former bartender, I realise the difficulties in serving a large number of patrons and simultaneously trying to monitor their mental state.

However, that it is difficult and time-consuming is not an excuse to make no effort in doing so.

If a patron is drunk and being difficult about giving up their keys, I ask you to call the police.

I am positive that the officer would much rather be involved in the preventive stages than to be called to the scene of an accident in which someone is severely hurt or dead.

To the bartenders who are aware of the role they play in the safety of Bermuda's roads, thank you for the concern you display for your community.

To the others, please remember that letting patrons drive drunk puts everyone at risk, including you, your friends and your family.

A CONCERNED CITIZEN

Policing patrons: bartenders and bar owners across the island could start taking more responsibility for the condition of their customers

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Published August 20, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2016 at 1:34 am)

Bartenders can play a role in road safety

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