Can a bar fight jeopardize your liquor license?
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Can a bar fight jeopardize your liquor license?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2022 | Licensing and Permitting |

Obtaining a liquor license for your establishment in Florida is an accomplishment but getting that license suspended or revoked can be easier than you might think.

People head out to bars and clubs because they want to have a good time and relax. Unfortunately, some folks have a hard time letting off some steam without blowing up. When there’s alcohol involved, misunderstandings can happen and tempers can flare unexpectedly – and that can put your liquor license in danger.

When establishments develop a reputation for trouble, the authorities crack down

Florida law explicitly prohibits the licensee and their employees from “engaging in or permitting disorderly conduct on the licensed premises, or permitting another on the licensed premises to violate any of the laws of this state or of the United States.” While not all forms of disorderly conduct may be within your or your employees’ control, it is worth understanding the risks you face should a fight break out at your establishment.

Take, for example, the situation faced by the well-known Dixie Roadhouse in Cape Coral. The bar had its extended-hours liquor license suspended in 2018 after a huge brawl broke out among its patrons. That was the final straw after a series of incidents that attracted police attention.

To keep your establishment from developing a bad reputation and risking its operations, you need to exert a little control over both your servers and your staff. This means:

  • Do not permit criminal activity on your premises, including gang activity
  • Do not permit your staff to drink while they’re on duty
  • Do not permit your servers to continue serving visibly intoxicated patrons
  • Make sure that you have sufficient security for your premises, including the parking lot
  • Make sure that drinks are not served in unlicensed areas

Protect your liquor license

You’ve worked hard to create your establishment – but it could all fall apart because a few of your customers lost their cool. If your liquor license has been put in danger, take immediate steps to protect your business and your future.