DEAR ABBY: I usually agree with your advice, but you missed the boat when you sided with the woman who thought it was improper to have a cash bar at a wedding reception.
Serving liquor has become a liability even if you serve it to a guest in your home. If the guest leaves your home and is arrested or has an accident, is the guest blamed? No, the person who provided the alcohol is at fault. A nasty lawsuit can result, not to mention personal injury should an accident occur.
Did the woman feel she was entitled to free liquor because she sent an "appropriate gift" from one of the "best stores"? Attending the wedding, being part of the celebration and attending the reception wasn't enough? Does free liquor make the event more meaningful? I think not.
Unfortunately, people invariably drink more when the drinks are free. Paying for each drink is a reminder of how many drinks they have had. A cash bar at a wedding reception is indeed proper. Guests who must have alcoholic beverages can pay for them and bear the responsibility. -- TIMES HAVE CHANGED, CAPE CORAL, FLA.
DEAR TIMES HAVE CHANGED: Ouch! I was soundly clobbered for having agreed that a cash bar at a wedding reception was improper. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: You told a reader that a cash bar at a wedding reception was not proper. You are out of touch -- it IS proper. The key word is LIABILITY. An open bar may lead to overindulgence. Overindulgence may lead to automobile or other accidents. If the bar is free, the liability may be that of the host. If the wedding guests are charged for their drinks, it not only tends to slow them down, but puts the responsibility on the bar/restaurant/establishment.
Please do not use my name. My husband is a retired attorney and he refuses to acknowledge my law degree by osmosis. Sign me ... M. FROM OREGON