A Texas bartender has been charged with criminal negligence and faces a year in jail and/or a $500 fine after she served Spencer Hight who had too much to drink and then went to his ex-wife’s house to kill her and seven other people. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code states that a person is criminally negligent if they sell “an alcoholic beverage to an habitual drunkard or an intoxicated or insane person,” so since bartender Lindsey Glass was the last person to serve him, she must be somehow responsible for a crazy-fuck named Spencer Hight shooting up eight of his friends.
The story is complicated because Lindsey personally knew Spencer and even texted a fellow bartender/friend that “Spencer has a big knife on the bar and is spinning it and just asked for his tab and said I have to go do some dirty work … Psychoooooooo.” She also texted that he was being “drunk and being weird” and had “produced a pistol from his front pocket and put it on the table.”
So what’s Lindsey supposed to do? We all know that if the guy showing off a knife was a stranger, she would have called the cops immediately, but since Spencer was an acquaintance, maybe it wasn’t as simple a decision. Or maybe he always pulled this kind of shit and she had no idea he was any more dangerous this time than any other time he’s acted “drunk and weird.” (She did call 911 after he left the bar.) Perhaps Lindsey wanted to give him one more drink just so he’d calm down or pass out and hopefully sleep it off. I’m not saying that she should serve an obviously inebriated customer more alcohol. All I’m saying is that it’s complicated to cut someone off, especially someone you know personally.
Some of the families of the victims filed civil suits against Lindsey but those suits were eventually dropped. However, she still faces the criminal negligence charges.
Is that right? I don’t think this girl should go to jail just because she had the misfortune of being the last person to serve a drink to someone who already had a pretty good plan to go do some damage. I understand that the families of the victims want someone to pay for this since Spencer ended up dead that night too, but the bartender? If you’re looking to place blame, you can look at the person who sold Spencer the gun. Or maybe the person who sold him the bullets. Hey, why not sue the GPS company that gave him directions to his ex-wife’s house or maybe the gas station that allowed Spencer to have enough fuel to drive there? This bartender is going to spend the rest of her life regretting that night and she certainly doesn’t need a year in jail or a fine to make it more imprinted in her memory.
We as servers and bartenders do the best we can do when it comes to serving alcohol. How are we supposed to know if someone who sits in our section is a “habitual drunkard” when they sit down and order a Jack and Coke two minutes after the first time we’ve ever laid eyes on them? And an “intoxicated” person isn’t always so easily identifiable. Sure some of them are sloppy drunks and it’s an easy call, but some of those drunks are professional and can have six drinks somewhere else and not even show it and as far we know they’re on cocktail number one. Finally, if Texas doesn’t want us to serve an “insane person,” I’d like to know how the hell we’re supposed to know what our customers mental history is. Half the people who sit in my section seem crazy as a bed bug, so am I supposed to stop serving all of them our just the people who present me their psychological history in a manilla folder that was provided by their psychiatrist?
To the families of the victims, I’m sorry for your loss.
To Lindsey Glass, I say good luck to you. I hope your only punishment for this are the memories you will have to live with.
To every server and bartender out there I say this: be careful when you serve liquor because one of those assholes you give a beer to might make a bad decision after they leave your restaurant and someone might want to blame you for it.