Bottomless Booze Brunch is Illegal in New York

What pulls patrons into a restaurant or eatery faster than the promise of unlimited drinks? If the answer is out there, no one seems to know it.

In New York City, many popular brunch spots and bars are offering an endless supply of alcoholic beverages so long as the customer is also eating something off their menu. While this is obviously enticing to the consumer, it is quite frustrating to the State Liquor Authority. According to their website, New York State law doesn’t allow an establishment to sell, serve, deliver, or offer patrons “an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price.” If it is strictly illegal, how are these restaurateurs getting away with it?

Ignorance is Bliss, and so is Inebriation

The honest truth coming out of most restaurant and bar owners is that they simply were not aware that there was any sort of law prohibiting bottomless drinks. They were serving endless mimosas, sangrias, and the like without realizing that they were committing any sort of violation. After all, if things didn’t go right, they stood to end up losing money on every bottomless booze brunch they sold.

Another reason these restauranteurs have been floating under the legal radar can be attributed to their own sense of entrepreneurism. The term “unlimited” is clearly impossible; no one can give you infinite of anything, and no one can consume infinite of anything, especially liquor. Instead, these eateries advertise endless while knowing fully that the average patron will stop after two or three drinks. They can even slow service intentionally to make sure no one person is having too much, too fast.

By limiting the “unlimited” behind the scenes, so to speak, very few customers have gotten inebriated to the point where law enforcement needed to step in to make an arrest. Thus, the entire scene is operating under a “no harm, no foul” mindset that seems to have left every party – the owners, the patrons, and the police – more or less satisfied.

A Crime is a Crime, Caught or Not

Now that you know more about the situation revolving around bottomless booze brunches in New York, you should be reminded that they are still illegal. Just because not many people are being cited for this violation doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t be. However, if you are ticketed for serving endless alcohol at your restaurant or place of business, you can challenge the claims and stand up for yourself in court with proper representation. Contact a Westchester County criminal defense attorney from Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP today if you would like to learn your options and take legal action in your defense.