On bars and accountability

I never expected to see it happen. On a TV news program it was stated that authorities intended to prosecute the bartender and the bar owner of the place in Covina where Andrew Gallo was served again and again after he had become very drunk. Subsequent TV news programs have not repeated this news item, so far as I could tell. It's possible that the California Alcohol Beverage Lobby may have squashed any such legal procedure already.

Obviously the booze lobby likes this kind of publicity like a dose of sodium cyanide. The three young people who were killed by Gallo's vehicle and the lone survivor were all at the start of their lives, but that means nothing to the booze lobby. The thing for them now is damage control and they have the kind of money to do the trick. Did you know that Gov. Schwarznegger's 2006 campaign benefited in the amount of $370,096 from the California Alcohol Beverage Lobby? They don't have to donate to every politician, only to the key legislators.

Right here in Barstow a bar can blatantly advertise that it will provide free transportation home to any lush who has gotten drunk at their bar. The police are only allowed to enter the premises of a bar after they have been called. They make it sound as though an unannounced walk through to see that the laws against serving drunken patrons are being observed by bartenders and barmaids would be as out of order as the police doing a walk through of a church during holy services. Yet some sort of control is needed because the temptation to continue serving drunken patrons is far greater than the risk. By the civil law no bar can be held financially responsible for any damage done by a drunk after he has left the bar.

Robert Annal, Barstow