State senators moved forward a proposal Thursday that would require South Carolina bars carry a minimum $1 million in liability insurance in case they serve a drunk person who later cuases death or injury in a car crash.
Bill sponsor State Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry, said bars have a responsibility to make sure customers are not becoming dangerously intoxicated. “The person who has suffered at the hands of a drunk driver would have the means of holding responsible the person who could have, but didn’t prevent that drunk driver from leaving,” Rankin said on the Senate floor Thursday.
Under the bill, an establishment’s failure to maintain the coverage is grounds for suspension or revocation of their liquor license.
But Rankin said even the minimum requirement of liability insurance may not prevent someone from getting hurt or even killed. “In other words, not overserving someone who is obviously intoxicated, they would have to have a minimum level of insurance,” said Rankin.
The measure also requires all restaurant and bar employees receive training in how to spot potentially dangerous levels of intoxication.
The South Carolina Restaurant and Lobbying Association supports the language, saying most reputable restaurants or bars already require the training among their employees.