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5 Real Challenges Bartenders Face

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Working as a professional bartender requires much more talent than simply mixing ornate cocktails for the grateful patrons who frequent your bar. You’re required to have a certain finesse or skill set in order to be successful in your industry.

Some much needed skills included talking to and taking care of customers, possessing strong physical endurance, and decision-making skills—such as determining when to deny service to intoxicated patrons.

While your expertise and hours of training have qualified you to provide top-notch service and an unrivaled drink menu, these unfortunate bartenders were slapped with criminal charges after a night of, what they believed was, fulfilling their typical job duties.

Warning: The following stories are not for the faint of heart.


An Oklahoma man, who was a pilot for the National Guard and LifeFlight, attempted to walk home after a night of drinking at his beloved bar. According to KOTV News on 6 article, the man was so intoxicated after leaving the bar that he fell down in the middle of the road while he was walking across the street. He attempted to crawl the rest of the way when he was hit and killed by two separate vehicles. Neither of the drivers were charged with his death, however, the bartender was charged with “serving alcohol to an intoxicated person,” which the state of Oklahoma deems a felony.


Recently, a Texas bartender turned herself in after her involvement in serving alcohol to two underage drinkers that later hit and killed a mother and her 3-month-old infant in a deadly drunk driving crash. According to Houston’s ABC 13, the bartender is one of three people charged with the deaths.
The bar owner’s son was charged with a Class A misdemeanor because he knowingly bought and provided alcohol to the teenagers. He could face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
The bartender was charged with acting with criminal negligence and failing to check identification.


KTRC ABC 13 article covered the story of a Texas bartender who was arrested for over-serving her patron after he hit and killed an 18-year-old high school student on her way to prom. The restaurant’s security cameras show that she served the man 11 beers before he walked out to his vehicle and then drove away.


An article published in Time magazine reported that a French bartender was arrested and charged with manslaughter after serving one patron 56 shots of alcohol. The customer was attempting to beat the bar’s current record of the ‘most shots taken’ at the bar and then died of alcohol poisoning.

Nearly all of the aforementioned situations could have been prevented had the bartenders exemplified better discretion.

Don’t get caught in a lawsuit—serve responsibly.

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