Vail: Judge says people are drinking harder |

Vail: Judge says people are drinking harder

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Vail Municipal Judge Buck Allen told the Vail Town Council Tuesday that people in Vail are drinking “a lot harder” than in the past.

Allen said people are doing more shots – slamming concentrated amounts of alcohol into their systems in short periods of time, meaning blood alcohol contents are higher and higher in the cases he sees, he said.

It used to be that a .2 blood alcohol level was unusually high, but now it’s almost normal for Allen to see blood alcohol levels at .2 and higher, he said.

The Vail Town Council listened carefully to Allen, asking whether they should enact new laws or step up enforcement of current laws.

Allen said bars that offer so-called power hours or happy hours are encouraging people to drink faster. Some bars are even sending text messages to their regular patrons about drink specials in order to boost business, Allen said.

Trying to enforce the over-service laws – laws that say an alcohol server cannot serve a visibly intoxicated customer – are hard to prove, Allen said.

“You have to prove the server knew the person was drunk when they served them,” he said.

Councilman Kevin Foley asked whether the town could enact a law limiting the number of drinks a person can order or have in front of them at one time, or something like it. Vail Town Attorney Matt Mire said he’d look into it and get back to the council at a future meeting.

Councilman Andy Daly also asked the town staff to look at where the most incidents are happening to see if there’s something the town can do to ensure businesses are enforcing the laws, too. He said the town could hopefully get any businesses who might have repeated problems with alcohol-related incidents to understand they have a responsibility to the community, he said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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