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Operator Town Hall 2 pm Wednesday

May 8, 2023
Serving Responsibly
Why Strengthening Liquor Liability Law is Good Business
Are you a District restaurant, bar, or venue operator concerned about the cost of liquor liability insurance and threat of lawsuits?
Join this Operator Town Hall to learn how strengthening dram shop laws help to promote responsible serving practices and reduce alcohol-related harms in communities – all while lowering insurance costs. 
  • The Problem: Unlike most states, District law is vague about how or when a business can be held liable for the actions of an intoxicated guest. As a result, District courts have found that plaintiffs have almost unlimited power to file lawsuits against bars, restaurants, and event venues.
  • The Cost: The lack of clear rules has also led insurance carriers to rank the District third worst in the country, making the cost of insurance here in some cases 100 times more than in Maryland or Virginia. 
  • Why it Matters: Why should District restaurants, bars, and event venues pay tens of thousands of dollars more for the same insurance as a business just a few miles away? It’s money taken from our local economy and paid to out-of-state insurance companies.  
  • This Also Means: The exorbitant costs make it hard for businesses of all sizes but disproportionately affect small, independently owned neighborhood bars and restaurants, and in particular those owned by entrepreneurs of color.
  • The Good News: Thankfully DC Council is considering legislation that would for the first time establish clear liquor liability rules, DC Bill 25-0056: The Dram Shop Clarification Amendment Act. A public hearing for the bill is scheduled May 26. 
  • Zoom In: Join this town hall 2 pm Wednesday hosted by the DC Nightlife Council and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington to learn: 
    • How the Dram Shop Clarification Act strengthens liquor liability law by adding key definitions and terms, limiting liability to injured third parties, and establishing a damages cap.
    • Why education and enforcement – not prohibitively expensive insurance or threat of being sued  – is the most effective way to protect guests from the harms of over-serving. 
    • How YOU can support passage of this important proposed legislation.
Register now to secure your spot! 
  • Sandra Basanti, Executive Director of DC Nightlife Council and CEO and Founder of Pie Shop DC
  • John Guggenmos, Chair of DC Nightlife Council and Co-Owner of Number Nine and Trade
  • Che Ruddell-Tabisola, Director of Government Affairs and Member Advocacy at Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
  • Ben Young, Managing Director of Georgetown Public Affairs