Personal injury attorney Lakota R. Denton, P.A., who also initiated the "Slow Down Asheville" campaign, just released a new video in conjunction with the Asheville ABC board on how individuals and the bars that serve them can be safer when it comes to drinking. The powerful video highlights local personalities in the brewing and law enforcement scene, including Asheville Brewers Alliance Executive Director Kendra Penland, Highland Brewing Company's owner and president Leah Ashburn, and Asheville ABC Board Chief Al Bottego, who celebrate the money and culture that a vibrant craft beer and cocktail scene has brought to the area, but paint a sobering picture of its costs, many of which are due to local bartenders overserving alcohol to already-intoxicated customers.
The campaign, "Serve Safe, Drink Safe, Do the Right Thing," is a call to action for everyone—from those pouring alcohol to Uber drivers, from friends out on the town to someone deciding whether they'll drive home or take a cab at the end of the night. According to the law, bars who overserve customers can lose their liquor licenses and be held responsible for damages or injuries due to drunkenness. While it's often easy to tell if someone has had too much, a particularly chilling moment in the video comes from a self-identified alcoholic, who practices sobriety tests every day in order to evade the consequences.
At its heart, the initiative is about community and keeping people safe. If you're a bartender, consider not serving someone who is clearly intoxicated or has had quite a few drinks. If you've had too much to drink, call a friend or an Uber. If your drinking has negative consequences on you or others, consider reaching out to a support network, like Alcoholics Anonymous, or a therapist specializing in substance abuse (check Psychology Today for local therapists, and visit Open Path Psychotherapy Collective for affordable, sliding-scale therapy in the area.)
From Lakota R. Denton, P.A.:
Asheville’s recent surge in tourism has been a welcome economic boost for our city, but with it comes challenges for residents and establishments wishing to keep Asheville a safe community for the people that live here. Currently, Asheville leads the state in DWI convictions, and we are experiencing a sharp increase in DFSA (drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault crimes). Lakota R. Denton, P.A. is committed to making sure Asheville stays a strong and safe community, for residents and tourists alike. Help us raise awareness about this growing issue and by sharing this video and continuing this dialog with your family and friends.