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Criminal defense: Bartender charged with over serving customer

A bartender in Texas is facing criminal charges for allegedly over serving a customer. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code prohibits the sale of alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated, and the official charge of "sale to certain persons" is considered a misdemeanor. However, the circumstances that led to the bartender's arrest could play an important role in her criminal defense plan.

The charges against the 27-year-old woman stem from an incident that happened on Sept. 10, 2017. The customer she is accused of overserving on that day went on to shoot eight people later that night, including his estranged wife. The bartender first served him two drinks at 2:30 p.m., after which he left the bar. He returned approximately four hours later and had another three drinks.

According to police, the bartender sent text messages to a co-worker describing the customer's concerning behavior. Video surveillance from that night showed that the customer had walked around the bar flashing both a knife and a gun. He also reportedly made unsettling statements to the bartender. Because of these actions, the bartender and her co-worker tried to stop the man from leaving the bar and also notified police of the man's behavior. Unfortunately, police did not reach the scene of the shooting in time.

The woman claims that Texas police initially said that her actions were commendable, saying that she likely saved several lives that night. However, they later reversed their opinion on the matter and filed the misdemeanor charge. Crafting a solid criminal defense can be difficult enough as it is, but it might be especially hard amidst changing attitudes from authorities. Despite this, conducting a thorough review of all charges under the careful guidance of an experienced attorney is usually a good place for defendants to start.

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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