Connecticut – 18
Connecticut allows anyone age 18 or older to bartend and serve alcohol.
Here is a link to the Connecticut website. Somewhere in that mess you will find the age to bartend.
You asked if (1) minors are allowed to be in barrooms where alcohol is served and (2) the law allows parents to serve liquor to their minor children. Under the Liquor Control Act, a “minor” is someone under 21 years old.
MINORS IN BARROOMS
The law prohibits liquor permittees and their servants or agents from allowing (1) minors to loiter on the premises where liquor is kept for sale or (2) minors, other than a minor over age 18 who is an employee or accompanied by his parent or guardian to be in a room where alcohol is served at a bar (CGS § 30-90). In a 1915 decision on a prosecution of a liquor licensee for allowing females to loiter in his establishment, a Connecticut Circuit Court found that “loiter” is in common use and means to delay, linger, be dilatory, and to spend time idly (The State v. Tobin, 90 Conn. 58, 62 (1915)). Violators are punishable with imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both (CGS § 30-113).
PARENTS SERVING MINOR CHILDREN
The law generally prohibits selling, shipping, delivering, or giving liquor to minors by any means. The penalty is imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $1,500, or both (CGS § 30-86(b)). But the prohibition does not apply to, among other exceptions, delivery by a parent, guardian, or spouse of the minor if the parent, guardian, or spouse is at least 21 and the minor has the liquor while in the company of the parent, guardian, or spouse.
May alcohol permittees who sell alcohol for on-premises
consumption (e.g., restaurants) serve a customer more than
one drink at a time?
Generally, no (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 30-6-A24b). State
regulations applicable to businesses that sell alcohol for onpremises consumption prohibit selling, offering, or serving
more than one alcoholic drink to an individual for his or her
own consumption at any one time. The regulation also
prohibits permittees from selling, offering, or serving drinks by the pitcher (or similar vessel) to an
individual; such drinks must be provided to a group of at least two individuals.
Under applicable regulations, a second serving of an alcoholic beverage may be provided only after
the first serving has been substantially disposed of or consumed.
These prohibitions on serving multiple drinks concurrently do not apply to (1) hotel guest bars (i.e.,
in-room bars) or (2) private functions held in a room or rooms of an on-premises consumption
business (i.e., invitation-only gatherings that are not open to the public).
You asked (1) what the penalties are for an alcoholic liquor permittee who serves alcohol to an intoxicated person and (2) whether the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is notified after an accident involving alcohol.
The Liquor Control Act prohibits an alcoholic liquor permittees or their employees from providing alcohol to intoxicated persons (CGS § 30-86(b)(1)). Violations are punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year imprisonment, or both, for each offense (CGS § 30-113).
In addition to these criminal penalties, DCP, through the Liquor Control Commission, may suspend or revoke a permittee’s license to sell alcohol. DCP may also require the permittee’s employees to participate in an alcohol seller and server training program (CGS § 30-47).
Someone who serves alcohol to an intoxicated person may be civilly liable for damages under certain circumstances. The Dram Shop Act makes a permittee liable if the permittee or his or her employee sells alcohol to an intoxicated person who injures a person or damages property. The court may award damages up to $250,000 (CGS § 30-102).
Law enforcement officials have no legal duty to inform DCP of traffic accidents involving alcohol. In 2010, a bill (HB 5229) would have required such notification for accidents resulting in serious injury to, or death of, anyone under age 21. The bill passed the House, but died in the Senate.
The Liquor Control Act prohibits alcoholic liquor permittees or their employees from selling or delivering alcohol to intoxicated persons (CGS § 30-86(b)(1)).
Although the statute does not define “intoxicated persons,” the Connecticut Supreme Court held in 1937 that someone can conclude that a defendant is intoxicated if he or she is staggering and not able to run very well (State v. Katz, 122 Conn. 439).
Violations are punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year imprisonment, or both, for each offense (CGS § 30-113).
DCP LICENSE PENALTIES
DCP, through the Liquor Control Commission, has the power to revoke or suspend a permittee’s license, issue a reprimand, place an individual on probation, require additional education, or issue fines (CGS §§ 21a-7(7) and 30-57).
Often, the Liquor Commission settles with violators by accepting offers from the permittees to pay fines instead of permit suspension (CGS § 30-58a). In considering the amount that may be accepted as an offer in compromise in lieu of suspension, DCP may use the following formula: $75 x number of suspension days = offer (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 30-6-A8(k)).
If the permittee does not make a compromise offer and no other agreement is reached, the full three-member commission holds a penalty hearing and sets the penalty.
The DCP commissioner may require a permittee, who has had his or her permit suspended or revoked, to have his or her employees take an alcohol seller and server training program (CGS § 30-47). He may also take this action instead of suspending or revoking the permit. The commissioner may require proof of completion before reactivating or reissuing the liquor permit.
The alcohol seller and server training includes:
1. five hours of classroom instruction, excluding breaks and test administration;
2. live instruction with an instructor present, though he or she may show videos or use other interactive programs or manuals; and
3. curriculum that includes information on preventing sales to minors, over-service of alcohol, drink promotion restrictions, and criminal, civil, and administrative liability (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 30-6a-H1).
LIABILITY OF PROVIDERS OF ALCOHOL
A person who provides alcohol to someone who causes an injury or death due to intoxication may also be liable under certain circumstances (CGS § 30-102). The Dram Shop Act makes a permittee liable if the permittee or his or her employee sells alcohol to an already-intoxicated person who injures a person or damages property. The actual amount of liability in a particular case is decided in court. The act limits the damages a permittee must pay to injured people to $250,000. (For more information on DUI Civil Liability, see OLR Report 2010-R-0288.)
LAW ENFORCEMENT NOTIFYING DCP
Law enforcement officials have no legal duty to inform DCP of traffic accidents involving alcohol that may have been served by liquor permittees or their employees.
In 2010, HB 5229 would have required law enforcement officials to inform the DCP commissioner after completing an investigation regarding a serious injury or death of a person under age 21 who was served alcohol by a liquor permittee or his or her employee. The bill required the law enforcement officials to make this notification within one week of completing the investigation and include (1) the name of the victim, (2) the date and time of the alleged incident, (3) the permit holder’s name and address, and (4) the investigation’s outcome. The bill did not pass.