crime

Club host held for giving drinks to woman who caused fatal accident

60 Comments

A male host working at a club in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, was arrested Friday for giving drinks to a female customer who he knew would be driving home, and who was involved in a fatal accident. On Aug 28, the 39-year-old woman crashed her car into another vehicle at an intersection. The driver of the other car was killed and the woman was arrested at the scene and charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Police said that club employee Shingo Hirai, 26, was charged with serving alcohol to the customer, even though she told him she would be driving home. According to police, on August 28, Hirai plied the woman with alcohol from around 1:20 to 3:55 a.m.

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It's all about the dollar bills.

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Details pls....as usual, only half a story here...

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Drunks aways seem to walk away from a terrible car accident, and kill the people they hit. Mr. Hirai should of called her a taxi cab, what an uncaring bar attendant. He should be held responsible.

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Oh yeah sure another case of being drunk as an excuse. The woman is totally at fault. The bartender was just doing his job, unless he is charged with the responsibility of the actions of his customers. Isn't it time to hold the customer responsible? What was she doing in a bar for two and a half hours?

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As he should be.

bob: "The bartender was just doing his job, unless he is charged with the responsibility of the actions of his customers."

All owners of restaurants/bars/clubs are responsible for cutting off their customers based on domestic laws on drinking/driving or what have you. Of course, that's my opinion more than anything, but it's also law in many countries, and recently so in Japan, which is a GOOD THING. You can STILL see people who are so drunk they cannot even walk go into an izakaya or convenience store and buy alcohol, with the 'mama-san'/master or store clerk not even batting an eye to sell it. Fortunately, in the case of restaurants and what not, they're FINALLY becoming a little more responsible.

As with other countries, they should be asked if they are driving, and if yes then served no drinks. If they insist on drinking, they need to hand over the car keys first, or have a designated driver who is refused alcohol.

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come on,we are talking about hosts and the kind of women that frequent their 'establishments' here..this is the bottom of the gene pool folks.

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Damn shame about the person in the other car that died.

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So now what are they going to search each person and get an affidavit stating that they will not be driving a car or have keys to drive a car.

There is either more to this story or this is one joke of a deal with the police.

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Pretty much agree with many of the sentiments here. There is a duty of care owed by sellers of alcohol. It is probably under-enforced like many things in this country. I say you nail him, nail the bar and most certainly nail the woman because we all have to be responsible for our actions.

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I think there should be some responsibility with a bar that sales drinks, and continues to encourage there customers to buy more until there super drunk. Drinking impairs your thinking abilities and judgement, the bars know that. Some people don't know when to stop drinking, thats why it would be a good idea for a bar attendant to limit drinks when a customer is driving, or as one poster worte, "take away the car keys. If this was law, it could save lifes. I personally wouldn't let a customer drive home, after pumping them up with beer. It isn't morally right to let your customer leave under those circumstances to endanger others or themselves. Anyway, when incidents happen like drunk in driving crashes, new cases come out to prevent more innocent deaths, businesses may have some responsibility to take care of single drunk customers. The Police are just tired of scrapping up human brains off the street.

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As long as dangerous drugs like ethyl alcohol are legal, there will always be murders/accidents like this.

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"The woman is totally at fault. The bartender was just doing his job"

Think before you speak! If that was your wife, mother, father, your child, or YOU that died in that car then you never say this. The host was just trying to make money. If he really wanted to make money then he should have called a designator taxi to drive her home because they take your car also. Obviously, she can afford this option if she can drink at a host bar. I am happy he was arrested. They need to get rid of this mentality of be nice to get all your money then kick you out on the street to fend for yourself.

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It's all about the dollar bills.

Do the host clubs deal in Dollar Bills???

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A male host was being arrested for serving a woman too much alcohol and letting her have her way? Sounds fairly strange for someone who lives in America, but this is a part of Japan's legal system. He was supposed to be obliged to stop serving her any more alcohol and force her to let him driving her home? Really?

It is likely a minor punishment for Shingo Hirai. The woman is expected to be hit very hard with the charges for refusing Shingo's aid, neglecting her drinking responsibility, and vehicular manslaugher.

It is highly recommended for anyone, who is interested in coming to live in Japan, check with JapanToday frequently, beside watching many films and TV series produced in Japan and learning Japanese language. There is still so much we don't know about Japan!

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A male host was being arrested for serving a woman too much alcohol and letting her have her way? Sounds fairly strange for someone who lives in America, but this is a part of Japan's legal system. He was supposed to be obliged to stop serving her any more alcohol and force her to let him driving her home? Really?

No, it doesn't sound odd to someone from the US. They have similar laws in the US. If you give someone alcohol, when you know they're going to be driving, you have a responsiblity to ensure they don't drive. If you serve them alcohol you have to make sure they get home safely. The guy should have been arrested. He knew she was going to be driving, if he served her alcohol, he should have called a taxi to ensure she got home safely.

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If the bartender knew she was going to drive, then he should have stopped serving her alcohol when she became visibly drunk and at the very least he should have called her a cab and if she refused and wanted to drive, then he should have called the cops. Of course the driver is responsible, for the accident, but he bartender is responsible for letting her get to that situation in the first place. Establishments need to show restraint and responsibility to protect their patrons.

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I'm sure the old bag reassured him with "daijoubu daijoubu shingo chan!" pure filth the lot of em.

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I personally don't care for the law requiring alcohol vendors to cut customers off. People's reactions to alcohol vary so widely taking into consideration drinking experience, mood, body size, full or empty stomach, rest, and genetic make-up. Only a very experienced bartender who knows the customer well over time would be able to make an accurate call. Sure, sometimes it's an easy call, but many times it's not. Personal responsibility is the only way it is really going to make a difference. Personal responsibility is not big in Asia, and especially weak in Japan. I foresee more and more shit being thrown at the bars, and more and more individuals being let off the hook for their actions.

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If you will notice next time you are in any establishment that serves alcohol, there are signs posted saying that if you drink you should not drive. That is considered giving notice. The law states that if you KNOWINGLY serve alcohol to someone who is going to drive you are responsible. The story says she told the little lap dog she weas going to drive. If he did not relate this to the barman or the amangement, he is responsible. Bubba's gonna LOVE this guy!!!!

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Same in Australia = RSA responsible service of alcohol - driving or not. If they didn’t enforce it there wouldn’t be a reason to up hold the law. Anyone know how far the act goes here in Japan? i.e. If she walked home and was run over by a truck would it still be a crime on his part?

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Oh sorry. I apparently don't know much about the international relationship between a bar and law. This is because I never go to a bar in my life.

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Why one go for drinking, if wants to drive at home? It was a hostbar, come on, nobody goes there and order two hamburgers with a fry and Coke.

I mean, if I go to a bar for drink, I leave my car at home, and don't blame the bartender. If she would by alcohol from a vending machine, would the owner of the machine be responsible, too? Where does personal responsibility hide in this country?

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Odd conundrum, huh! The drink driving rules in Japan are such that basically if you have a single drink you could be in violation of the law, yet a bartender is supposed to know "the safe cutoff point" for drinks served to a customer intending to drive home. I think if you intend to drive, and you order a drink, you're the criminal, not the bartender. You're the one who planned to both drink and drive. There are so many options, with taxis and daiko unten, business hotels and plain old waiting for the first trains or buses at 05:30. Hang her high!

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yeah and you could say the business is at fault for not having taxi-service. Pin the woman, she was the one who hit and killed. Otherwise we could claim most leaders as muderers ;D

RSA=Rigged Studies of Alcohol

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More than anything, I believe that this law has it's roots in Buddhism. More specifically the Law of Causality. Although my statement is certainly an oversimplification, I think that might be where this comes from. Another example of this would be if you were involved in motor vehicle accident and someone lost their life. Even if the other party was completely at fault you'd most likely find yourself in a mandatory jail sentence.

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mookoo: I agree with you! I know that the US has similar laws but it just doesn't seem right. As you said, it's really hard to tell how drunk someone is because there are so many factors involved.

It shouldn't be the burden of the bartender. (if the bartender has many customers in one night, it would be pretty hard to keep track of who's had what and who's driving) This person is just providing a service, he/she is not your mother!

We need to be accountable for our own actions. As a responsible adult, you should know how much alcohol you can handle. Besides, if you are driving, you probably shouldn't be drinking at all!

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Daiko? Anybody?

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Good tip Beowuld!! In case some of you don't know about this service, it's basically a taxi service that come with two drivers, one of them follows the taxi and drives your car home for you.

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I think many people are forgetting that the lady has all ready been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

In Boston and New York most bars give drivers an armband. So the bartenders don't serve them alcohol. This lady let the guy know she was driving, but host get paid by the number of guests and the amount of alcohol those guests buy. So he knowingly served her completely aware of the law. As another poster has mentioned bars have the sign. He'll just get a hefty fine, and he'll have to get some other desperate women drunk to pay it off.

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Yep, if he knew she was driving then he deserves to be punished. I've been asked if I was driving a few times in family restaurants when ordering a beer. This law is pretty much standard in most countries. It' a little something called, duty of care.

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All owners of restaurants/bars/clubs are responsible for cutting off their customers based on domestic laws on drinking/driving or what have you.

Yes, That's true, but this story leaves out those details which would constitute that part of the statute / law... The bar tender cannot continue to serve an "obviously" intoxicated person, but if the person seems as though they are fully competent / in control of their facilities, then the owner / bar-tender has no legal responsibility.

Example, they say an average person can consume 1, 8 or 12 oz glass or beer per hour and the body will digest at about the same rate, so the effect on the body is negligible... The person will basically remain sober... Once you exceed that limit, it's a different story...

Now if this bar tender personally served her 10 glasses of wine in 2 hours, or some ridiculously high amount of drinks, then of course he / or more appropriately, the bar (owner) is responsible.

I don't even drink and I hate drunks, but come on now, let's use some common sense... what's next, the convenience store clerk who sells the case of beer, knowing that person will later take the beer home and they might possibly go driving after that...? Personal Responsibility...

One more example of a nation of 7 year old's, hard at work proving that point.... over and over and over again...

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Rather than talking too much about the bars and laws, simply stay away from the bars if we don't want trouble. I feel sorry for the drunk woman who mistakenly thought that alcohol could solve her problems.

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And are establishments gonna tell their customers that if you enter you cant drive away ? If that is the case they'll be out of business within days. As an adult,it is your moral,common sense responsibility to do the right thing and know your limit. It isn't like the host put a gun to her head and say drink now did he ? Plus a 39 year old female is not going to listen to a 26 year old male,telling her she has had enough either.

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Just to confirm: Readers here believe Drink = No Driving. No Question. Not even a Glass of wine. Right? or theres leeway? I wonder if we're on the same page...

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carlosgodoy1,

In Japan? There is no 'leeway'. Zero tolerance. No driving if you drink. It keeps things simply and clear.

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Hey, you know what? Anyone who provides another person with a drug that has not been prescribed by a doctor should be responsible for that person's actions. Doctors should be allowed to blame it on drug companies, in my opinion... but that is nit picking. Who cares if bars go out of business? Seriously, who cares?

People should have drinking licenses to drink at bars. Bartenders should be licensed. I am not sympathetic. Alcohol kills.

If people are becoming unwilling to take any kind of personal responsibility by abstaining or controlling themselves, then Carrie Nation wins one way or another. If we are willing to say that drinkers are not at fault and that "hosts" are not at fault, then we are really saying that alcohol itself is out of control. Great. Glad we have that settled. Raise the taxes and license the practitioners so we can get this menace under control.

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People who know they are going to drive should have the responsibility to say NO to drinks. It's her fault. He could have thought she'd realize she can't drive and end up taking a taxi as he could have thought that is what responsible people do. He is not at fault for her getting drunk and deciding that she can drive home on her own volition.

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Zero tolerance laws work to a point. Either you plan for a designated driver or alternate transportation be it mass transit trains, buses, or cabs. Women, as a whole, generally have a much lower tolerance. If a woman hopes to pick up a man, then the risk is if she doesn't. The logic of anyone choosing to drink without an alternate plan is foolish. As a society, we can drink at home or at a party where we either stay long enough to "dry out" or have alternate transportation such as a cab or ride with a designated driver. I have "sacrificed" myself as a designated driver in years' past. It's better than the guilt of a friend dying in an accident, don't you think?

My other choice is to limit it to when I travel and be in a club as a part of the hotel I'm in such as Las Vegas. The biggest danger of drinking is when it's not pre-planned. Such is life, but we should all strive to decide before we embark on drinking in order to make a safe decision as to how to return home.

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This may be redundant, but just to make it clear, the legal amount of alcohol in your blood when driving in Japan is 0. Everybody here knows this. The law is also perfectly clear about one other thing. If you knowingly allow others to drive when they have been drinking, you are also responsible. This is a good law in the context of Japanese culture. If your senior insists on driving home drunk, normally you wouldn't socially be able to say anything. But since the law insists it allows you the opportunity to do something (in fact, you must try).

So in this case the host is clearly responsible. As I said, everyone in Japan knows this law. It's not a surprise.

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I don't think a bartender gets paid enough to monitor the drinking of the customers. The customers are adults and are responsible for their own actions. It's general knowledge that drinking and driving don't mix; anyone who goes to a bar and expects to drive home is a potential law breaker and it's not up to the bartender to decide what they do.

Better to post police at every bar and check each patron as they leave for their cars.

Just another way of saying "sorry officer I was drunk and wasn't responsible" - this excuse is used all the time.

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[So in this case the host is clearly responsible. As I said, everyone in Japan knows this law. It's not a surprise.] --- I disagree. There is no evidence that the guy told her NOT to drive. He probably did, she said ok, and then did it anyway. How much onus should we put on someone who can't babysit every adult that comes to his place of business?

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She was 39 years old, perfectly grown up and old enough to know what she was doing. This sounds to me like she is now trying to blame anyone and everyone but herself for what happened.

Yes, the guy plied her with alcohol. But SHE drank it, SHE(possibly, we dont know) refused help, SHE got in her car and SHE drove home. How do we know she didnt even lie to him and say she would take a taxi, and then drove anyway?

It`s getting pretty shocking when people like this woman can behave like this, and then get away with blaming other people for their actions. The next thing you know, we will be hearing that it is the victims fault for being out driving when there was a possibility there could be drunk drivers on the road. Sheesh!

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Get it right people, no where does it state that the woman is blaming the host, the police are.

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@mindovermatter, and a couple others

You are talking about the US laws or somewhere. In Jpn, any amount of alcohol in your blood is illegal for driving and you can face fines , lose your license etc etc, despite possibly being effectively sober as you said. For another thing, in Jpn a relatively high percent of the ppl here/ in East Asia, lack an enzyme in their body to break dn and digest alcohol, and so can get ridiculously drunk off of like half a can of weak beer.

@bob the hosts in a host bars get paid more in one day than I do in a month. regular bar tenders, well a bus druver gets paid whatever and goes out in crowded traffic with speedy impatient kids driving, other selfish types, very short hard to see elementary school kids jumping out, etc and is expected not to have an accident, right? keeping track of the environment around you is necessary in any job.

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If the law in Japan says there will be no alcohol in the blood of a driver, then the woman should have been cut off as soon as the host found out she intended to drive away. No evaluation of the woman's state of inebriation was necessary. If you're going to drive, you don't get served alcohol. Pretty simple concept.

The police are obviously stating that the host continued to serve her alcohol after he found out she was going to drive away. Given the 0% BAC law in Japan, that pretty much makes him an accomplice "before the fact" to the harming of anyone by her after she got back in her car.

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It seems very odd to me that Japan has these two laws which are contracting each other: one law says that there is zero tolerance for drinking & driving and other says that the person serving alcohol is partly responsible for another who might drink & drive. If there is zero tolerance for drinking & driving then just by walking into the bar and ordering a drink she was basically breaking the law.

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Dolphingirl. More correctly, she was breaking the law by walking into the bar, ordering a drink, and then driving away.

Trying to figure out what the responsibility of the bartender is comes to be a real pain. How did he know she was going to drive, etc.

The point I made above is that alcohol diminishes capacity to make rational judgments. That is what it does. And if you say that people are not responsible for their own actions after they drink, which they are not, then alcohol is the problem. Obviously.

It should be designated as a dangerous drug and should be dispensed as one.

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She was 39 years old WTF ....she knew better ...mot the clubs fault they SELL DRINKS to make money!

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If there is zero tolerance for drinking & driving then just by walking into the bar and ordering a drink she was basically breaking the law.

There is zero tolerance in Japan for drinking and driving. However, she did not break the law until she attempt to enter her car for the purpose of driving after drinking. Merely entering a bar and drinking is not breaking the law. However, once she stated her intent to drive, she should have been cut off or put in a taxi/daiko upon leaving the establishment.

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I've never actually been to a host club, but it's my understanding that their job does involve more than simply bar tending. It involves flattery and interaction on a personal and sometimes physical level. If that's the case, then yes, he does have some responsibility if he knew she was driving that night. While I wish it was simply a moral responsibility, it appears that Japan has made it a legal responsibility as well.

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Nonde, nonde nonde!!! Nonde, nonde nonde!!!

This Ikemen♪ is gonna be popular in jail!

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He'll just get a hefty fine, and he'll have to get some other desperate women drunk to pay it off.

Nope. The current law allows for up to three years imprisonment, and in a case where someone has been killed by the drunk driver, maximum sentences will be handed out all 'round.

The police are still looking for a few more "enablers" of this sort to crucify, as well. They still need to drive home the potential repercussions for the rest of the populace.

There is no way he's getting off lightly.

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Driving a bicycle is illegal now drunk. It actually is pretty dangerous. I know, and I smashed my face up once and ruined a pair of ¥50,000 glasses. The guy should not have been serving her, but I bet the guys boss was pushing him to do so. The boss should be arrested too. One thing great about this country though, is that only the driver has to be alcohol free. Everyone else can get trashed in the car.

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klein2: thanks for your correction. I was exaggerating to make a point but didn't do it well. Anyway, what I meant to express is that if there is zero tolerance for drinking & driving then it really shouldn't have been up to a bartender to decide when to cut her off since she shouldn't have been drinking in the first place: It said he knew that she would be driving home which means SHE also knew she was going to drive home!

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Anyway, what I meant to express is that if there is zero tolerance for drinking & driving then it really shouldn't have been up to a bartender to decide when to cut her off since she shouldn't have been drinking in the first place: It said he knew that she would be driving home which means SHE also knew she was going to drive home!

I did not see klein2's comments before posting my similar comments. Your point above is interesting. However, the bartender can be considered an accomplice if they knowingly help a patron commit a crime. Of course, the person themselves is the most responsible. However, the bartender knew a crime was about to be committed and did not try to stop it, or so it seems...

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Right, and how is he supposed to stop it ? don't serve drink and get fired ? call the police and then get fired ? Tell me realistically what he could or should have done ... She's 39 and japanese (I add this since as a citizen she's supposed to know the % of alchool she can assume before driving. I know about Italy but am clueless about Japan), supposely she doesn't need someone else to tell her not to drink and drive. The kid was just doing his job, serve drinks and entertain customers, it's not his job to police how and if his customers drink. Good grief people let's stop blame others for your own mistakes! (talking in general here)

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Byakko78,

Worry about being fired is not an excuse for breaking the law or allowing someone to break the law, at least not in Japan. The bartender should have stop serving her, called the police, convinced her to use a taxi/daiko service, or a million other choices rather than knowingly let her drink and drive.

it's not his job to police how and if his customers drink.

She told him she was going to drive. He did not need to be a detective. Once he knew, and he continued to serve her, he became an accomplice.

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Sorry, I do not get this. Why did she not take a cab if she knew she was drunk? If she was that drunk, she should have left the car and went home by cab. It does not make sense to blame the host for your carelessness.

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I admit I don't care for the club scene myself, neither do I drink, but if I were a betting woman, I'd say that drinking is what usually occurs at these kinds of places? I actually place the blame on both the host and the woman. Sure, the host should have done the good samaritan deed and not plied the woman with as much alcohol as he did, or even offered to call her a cab if she appeared too drunk to drive. At the same time, I'm sure the woman planned on having alcohol beforehand, and therefore should have taken the responsibility to secure a designated driver. Of course I'm basing that on what is available in this article as it does seem to lack details.

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I agree the host should bear part of the blame, since he was told that she would be driving home. But the greater brunt of the blame falls on the driver herself. She KNEW she'd be driving home, she told the host that very thing, and then went ahead and let him ply her with alcohol for two hours. It would have been a very simple thing to just say, "No thank you, I'll have water instead." I mean, come on! Personal responsibility!

Hosts get paid based on how much money they're able to fleece off their clients, plain and simple. It's a commission-based business. Just like used car salesmen trying to get you to buy the most expensive car on the lot so they can get a big commission, hosts will talk the talk and walk the walk to convince the customer that they REALLY care about them and REALLY want to make them happy. The better they are, the more money they get their customers to spend, the higher their status rises -- and their asking price as well. Their income is dependent on it. That's what host clubs ARE, and that's what host clubs DO. If you go to one you should be expecting them to wine and dine you, usually with the most expensive wine and food they can get you to accept. If you don't think you'll be able to say no when the host offers you another glass of Dom Perignon, then you're better off not going in the first place.

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