Bars May Start Monitoring "Over-served"

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Iowa may soon have a different answer to get drunk drivers off the road.

The Traffic and Safety Board of Iowa wants to implement the "place of last drink" database. Police will start tracking bars to find out which ones have histories of over-serving.

It's a new approach to curb drunk driving. After an officer pulls someone over, they ask the driver where they've been drinking. Police then look into whether the bar is repeatedly sending drunk drivers on the road.

It's something not all agree will work.

Kristina Moneypenny is a bartender at Mr. B's. She said, "I think it's a slippery slope. It really is. As a bartender, we don't know where our customers have been before they come here. If they come to the bar, they're coherent, they can order a drink, they don't show little signs of being intoxicated to the point where they shouldn't be served, it's a tough decision to make."

Bars that repeatedly over-serve customers could lose their liquor licenses. But, as one patron notes, maybe the drivers are breaking other laws as well.

"You just can't put it on the bar. If you get pulled over five miles before getting home, and he asks where you're drinking, I think that's wrong because you could have something you're drinking on the way home," said Jesse Couchril.

Criminal defense attorney Tom Viner compares it to casinos having to regulate giving drinks to patrons. He said OWI's probably won't be affected by it, but that we will see a change in a different aspect.

"It's almost like a chain of custody or a chain of events to go back to retrace the steps of that person allegedly at fault of something, then you're providing people that are injured or hurt or killed to find a better way to sue them," Viner said.

Even though the state's Alcoholic Beverages Division discussed the plan last week, it's not exactly a new idea. The Traffic Safety Bureau out of Des Moines has been trying to get the initiative going since last year.


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