What pulls patrons into a restaurant or eatery faster than the promise
of unlimited drinks? If the answer is out there, no one seems to know it.
In New York City, many popular brunch spots and bars are offering an endless
supply of alcoholic beverages so long as the customer is also eating something
off their menu. While this is obviously enticing to the consumer, it is
quite frustrating to the State Liquor Authority. According to their website,
New York State law doesn’t allow an establishment to sell, serve,
deliver, or offer patrons “an unlimited number of drinks during
any set period of time for a fixed price.” If it is strictly illegal,
how are these restaurateurs getting away with it?
Ignorance is Bliss, and so is Inebriation
The honest truth coming out of most restaurant and bar owners is that they
simply were not aware that there was any sort of law prohibiting bottomless
drinks. They were serving endless mimosas, sangrias, and the like without
realizing that they were committing any sort of violation. After all,
if things didn’t go right, they stood to end up losing money on
every bottomless booze brunch they sold.
Another reason these restauranteurs have been floating under the legal
radar can be attributed to their own sense of entrepreneurism. The term
“unlimited” is clearly impossible; no one can give you infinite
of anything, and no one can consume infinite of anything, especially liquor.
Instead, these eateries advertise endless while knowing fully that the
average patron will stop after two or three drinks. They can even slow
service intentionally to make sure no one person is having too much, too fast.
By limiting the “unlimited” behind the scenes, so to speak,
very few customers have gotten inebriated to the point where law enforcement
needed to step in to make an arrest. Thus, the entire scene is operating
under a “no harm, no foul” mindset that seems to have left
every party – the owners, the patrons, and the police – more
or less satisfied.
A Crime is a Crime, Caught or Not
Now that you know more about the situation revolving around bottomless
booze brunches in New York, you should be reminded that they are still
illegal. Just because not many people are being cited for this violation
doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t be. However, if
you are ticketed for serving endless alcohol at your restaurant or place
of business, you can challenge the claims and stand up for yourself in
court with proper representation.
Contact a Westchester County criminal defense attorney from Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP today if you would like to learn
your options and take legal action in your defense.