Bartender faces jail for boy’s booze death

Bartender faces jail for boy's booze death
Photo: DPA
A Berlin bartender faces court on Wednesday for serving a 16-year-old dozens of Tequila shots that led to his death in February 2007.

The 28-year-old barkeep from the Charlottenburg district is charged with bodily harm resulting in death after engaging in a drinking contest with the high school student. He served the boy, identified by the media as Lucas, 45 shots of Tequila within one hour, but secretly only drank water himself.

After reaching a lethal blood alcohol content of 0.44 percent, the boy fell into a coma, and died one month later.

The bartender could get up to 15 years in prison for his part in the boy’s death.

The incident created a national debate about alcohol consumption among minors, and a trend called “coma boozing,” where young people binge drink at “flatrate parties” that offer an all-you-can-drink cover charge.

Some German cities, including Freiburg and Heidelberg have begun banning the public consumption of alcohol in parts of the city in order to combat teen drinking. Berlin officials passed an alcohol ban at Alexanderplatz, in the city’s centre, in December. The ban was in reaction to an increasing number of minors who had to be hospitalised for alcohol poisoning and residents complaining about broken glass, rubbish and teenagers relieving themselves in public areas.