The amendment requiring all club and bar owners to check the IDs of younger customers is a good one. While club and bar owners see it as a burden now they must consider potential future consequences, which could be even greater. The sponsor of the amendment apparently wants to save young potentially productive Virgin Islanders from early demise. Every year, thousands of teenager drivers lose their lives on the nation's street, roads and highways on account of driving while drunk of under the influence. In most cases, teenage passengers are involved in the accident, which makes the situation more devastating.
All lives, young and not so young are precious and we cannot afford to lose lives through actions, which can be avoided.
Albeit, most of the establishments, which serve food, also serve liquor, but the amendment simply requires making a "best effort" approach to avoid underage customers from gaining access to alcoholic beverages. In addition to saving young lives, the measure could save a businessperson from paying out thousands of dollars from a lawsuit, where the cause of action attributes the demise of the underage driver to alcoholic beverage procured at a particular and specific business establishment. Some jurisdictions have codified in their statutes what is known as the Dram Shop law, which allows the proper plaintiff to bring an action for wrongful death against the owner of the facility and even the bartender who served the alcoholic beverages.
The amendment is in the best interest of the public good and should not be relegated to the archives.
Eric E. Dawson
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