Sangrias & Swim-Up Bars


Liquor Liability For Swim Up BarsAs the sun gets hotter, many will soak up the sun, swim up to a bar and reach for a cold drink, like Sangria to keep cool.
Swim-up bars are not just something you find on the islands — they exist right here in New England.
But, have you ever considered the risks the restaurant/bar owner takes on serving alcohol at a pool or beach bar?
Serving alcohol at a pool or beach bar opens you up to risks, such as stepping on glass, drowning, or underage drinking.
In this claim filed in Massachusetts, a man suffered serious nerve damage to his foot after stepping on broken glass in the pool from a beer bottle served at the poolside bar.
Also, alcohol will not only dehydrate your guests, but can impair senses, alter their sense of distance, and cause feelings of disorientation and confusion, while they are in the water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation.” 
If you have a poolside bar or are considering opening one, then we recommend mapping out a plan in advance before an accident occurs.
From an insurance perspective, some of the things we immediately think of include:
Should you have a waiver of liability at the entrance signed by all that enter?
Are you allowing kids around the premises? What if something happens to the child while their chaperone was intoxicated? Is it the lifeguard’s responsibility? What if a lifeguard was reckless?
Where do you draw the line in the sand once someone leaves your establishment and goes on to the beach?
Will you have lifeguards on site?
To help mitigate the risk involved with a swim up or poolside bar, we recommend:
  1. Serving ice water, or having a water station available for guests to re-hydrate at their convenience.
  2.  Serving beverages in plastic cups.
  3. Making sure that there are signs that say “no glass allowed” around the area.
  4.  Not allowing lifeguards to use their phones during work hours so their full attention can be on guests at the pool.
  5. Requiring a government-issued photo identification.
  6. Distributing wristbands.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, learn more about summertime safety in our blog “6 Tips For A Safe 4th Of July Weekend.”
Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.