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Juneau, AK 99801

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Q. What does the law state in reference to selling alcohol to someone who is visually intoxicated already? I thought this was a no-no. Twice now, within a short period of time, I have seen this happen.

Dear Juneau Resident,

Selling alcohol to a drunken person is illegal and allowing a drunken person to be in a bar is also illegal. JPD definitely wants a call if you see that happening. The definition of drunken is different than intoxicated. Drunken is more impaired than the minimum that would get you a DWI. The drunken person that gets the DWI is the one who brings a bottle of booze with them to the field sobriety tests...and offers the investigating officer a drink.

Drunken is defined as a "person whose physical and mental conduct is substantially impaired as a result of the introduction of an alcoholic beverage into the person's body and who exhibits those plain and easily observed or discovered outward manifestations of behavior commonly known to be produced by the over consumption of alcoholic beverages."

Some obvious pieces of evidence that someone is drunk would be that he or she is falling down, passing out, and vomiting. Other indicators, alone or as a group, could be severe swaying, drooling, removing clothing, hanging on people, trying to start fights, staggering into the wrong sex bathroom and hanging out there, making grossly inappropriate requests of someone's wife...you get the picture. It is a person who is experiencing a lack of boundaries or physical control commonly associated with alcohol abuse.

Please call JPD if you see a drunken person being provided alcohol or allowed to remain in a bar. People who are over-served quickly become a danger to themselves and others and while it is okay to acknowledge the foolishness alcohol inspires, drunken behavior is serious. Selling alcohol to a drunken person is a class A misdemeanor and a report about the bar goes to the Alcohol and Beverage Control Board if a bartender is cited.


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