WA Legal Roundup - Washington Supreme Court
Man goes to lodge. Lodge serves the man 21 beers. Ldoge cuts off beligerent drunkard: "Chapman later told a friend of Kinkaid's that he was so drunk that night that she had to cut him off." Of course, drunkards, as they do when they drive, ended up smashing into another care, rendering one of the passengers paraplegic. The court was tasked with clarifying the standards for overservice.
Under RCW 66.44.200(1), overservice occurs when someone who is "apparently under the influence of liquor" is served more liquor. The Court of Appeals dismissed the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs offered no direct, point in time evidence. Of course, this differs from the standard method available of proving your case by circumstantial evidence. The court looked to cases in which it allowed circumstantial evidence to defeat summary judgment and those that did not. Almost universally, observation after the fact of JUST BAC was not enough, because it does not offer evidence of apparentness. However, observations of the drunkards behavior shortly after leaving the establishment that served him was enough.
But if you read above...there was evidence of that apparent intoxication. The Court of Appeals weighed that and still granted summary judgment through its holding:
That Chapman could recognize that Kinkaid was drunk at the time he left the bar leaves open the possibility that the jury could infer that she could tell he was drunk when she last served him. It was error to take this question away from the jury on appeal.
If Kincaid appeared wayyyyyyyy too drunk when he left the lodge, its a permissible inference that he appeared wayyyyyyyy too drunk when he was served his last beer as well.