Should man who drunk-tipped $22,000 have to pay up?

Illustration for article titled Should man who drunk-tipped $22,000 have to pay up?
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When someone under the influence crashes their car into the side of a building, say, they are liable for that action. So if a whacked-out person hands out thousands of dollars in tips during an evening when they’re partying a bit heavily, they should also be held responsible, right?


That was our first question on seeing this story from The Tennessean about a reportedly drug-addled and drunk man who handed out some $22,000 in tips recently at a Nashville Marriott. In fact, due to his generosity and servers’ greed, “hotel management said [he] interfered with the operation of the bar,” since savvy servers were fighting over who got to serve him.

There were other danger signs: The man was allegedly texting his friends saying that he had taken some drugs that heightened his intelligence, for example, which caused the concerned friends to call the police. When the authorities found him at the hotel bar, he was not only bloodshot, smelling of alcohol, but carrying a firearm. He was arrested “on charges of public intoxication and possession of a firearm while intoxicated” and posted bond a few hours later.

There’s no followup in the story on whether the servers got to keep all that money, but it inspired a healthy debate in our morning meeting. If you are, as we stated above, responsible for your actions while inebriated, shouldn’t that apply for all transactions? If you drunk-order a pizza, you can’t ask for a refund when you sober up. The story only sayshe made several high-dollar tips,” which we’ll interpret as cash tips—as opposed to scrawling on a tip line that a credit card company can later reverse—so in this situation, no take-backsies, right?

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.



If I go to Vegas and blow $22,000 on slots and shitty tropical drinks do I get it back just because I was on a bender? No? I don’t see why this guy would either then.

I was expecting a story where a guy maybe wrote some extra zeroes on a tip line by mistake or something but this is not even a debate. He fucked up and handed out a bunch of cash. Unless he got drunk and high because someone else drugged him without his knowledge (unlikely but possible), he owns this.