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Bar Owner On Trial For Allowing Man to Take 56 Shots

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Can a bar owner be held accountable for a patron's behavior?


A French bar owner is on trial for allowing a patron to take 56 shots in one night. According to the Local, last October a 57-year-old man named Renaud knocked back 56 shots at a bar called Le Starter. He managed to set a new record at the bar — the previous one was 55 shots — but he unfortunately passed away later that night.

During the evening, Renaud drank 30 shots made with hard alcohol in just one minute. He had to be carried home by his daughter and her friends and later went into cardiac arrest. The courts are deciding if the bar owner is responsible for his death.

Witnesses say that Renaud had already downed 14 shots before he decided he wanted to try and beat the record. However, Renaud's daughter notes that the landlord of the bar told Renaud, "and 12 to go" at one point, which apparently encouraged him to continue. The daughter's lawyer tells the Local that this is "a case of inciting someone to consume. That's an extremely serious mistake for a bar owner."

The owner denies the allegations and instead says that he told the man he should "stop his quest to break the record." The owner's lawyer notes that "no one forced the client to take on the challenge" and therefore the owner is not responsible.

The trial comes just months after the French government proposed a new law to curb binge drinking. If it passes, those who incite binge drinking can be punished with up to $19,000 in fines and a year in jail.