A new article (424) in Indonesia’s revised criminal code (KUHP) should give pause to bar and nightclub operators.
Under the new law, bartenders and service staff – and by extension, their employers – can be held criminally responsible for serving drinks to customers who are intoxicated and should have been refused further service.
Service staff and their places of employment discovered to continually serve drunk customers more alcoholic beverages may be subject to criminal prosecution and jail terms of multiple years.
Among the stipulations of the just ratified Article 424 of the Criminal Code include the following:
- Persons found guilty of selling or serving intoxicating drinks to someone already intoxicated can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of one year.
- Persons found guilty of selling or serving intoxicating drinks to children can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of two years.
- Persons found guilty of using violence and the threat of violence to compel someone to drink or consume an intoxicating substance can be fined and imprisoned for three years.
- If anyone provides intoxicating beverages or substances that results in serious injury to the user or others, they can be fined and imprisoned for a maximum period of five years.
- If anyone serves the intoxicating beverages or substances described above, the use of which results in the death of the user or others, can be imprisoned for a maximum of seven years.
- If the serving of intoxicating beverages to inebriated individuals, to minor children, or forcing the consumption of these items is done by an employee as part of their assigned duties, the operating license of the company can be revoked.
The new Indonesian law reflects the situation in many countries that hold bars and entertainment establishments legally responsible if they knowingly continue to serve someone already intoxicated.