Man in SW China Dies After 2 Days Heavy Drinking, and Then…

By Alistair Baker-Brian, March 28, 2023

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Back in March 2021, a man in Kunming – provincial capital of Yunnan in Southwest China – was drinking and playing mahjong with friends. Little did he or those around him know that he would be dead a day later. 

According to media outlet Jiupai News, the man, surnamed Qian, drank and played mahjong with friends until the early hours of the morning of March 28, 2021. He and his friends then went for lunch the same day and continued to drink. 

On the evening of March 28, Qian was drinking baijiu at a BBQ joint. By this time, he was intoxicated to the point at which his friends had to take him home with the help of the BBQ joint owner. 

Once home, Qian passed out. His wife got the sense that this was not an “ordinary drunken state,” and decided to get her husband medical attention; a doctor later confirmed that Qian was dead.

Qian was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 420.34 milligrams per 100 milliliter, or 0.42%. According to an article published in 2022 in Biomedical Sciences; such a high blood-alcohol level can usually cause “coma or respiratory failure.”

Two years later on March 27, 2023, Qian’s family took the manager of the BBQ joint – where Qian had his last meal – to court. They demanded the manager, surnamed Zhang, pay RMB140,000 in reparations. 

Qian’s family claimed that Zhang should have been aware that Qian was already intoxicated, and therefore should have refused to serve him alcohol. 

The judge ruled that Zhang should have “paid more attention” to the fact that Qian was intoxicated. The judge ordered Zhang to pay RMB5,000 to Qian’s family – significantly less than the RMB140,000 that the family demanded. 

On social media platform Weibo, a hashtag related to the case has been viewed 320 million times, and has sparked a debate over the extent to which each person involved should be held responsible. 

An article published in May, 2018 on may offer clues as to how customers like Qian are usually dealt with. 

The article in question detailed a meeting convened by a local Public Security Bureau (PSB) branch in Hangzhou. They invited the bosses of 13 bars located on the city’s famous Xinyi Fang Commercial Street to take part. 

In part of the meeting, the PSB representatives “suggested” the bar bosses refuse service to customers who were obviously intoxicated, but stopped of short of saying the bars would be held liable for any consequences should they do so. 

Qian’s death, and the subsequent court ruling against Zhang that followed, may prompt those who sell alcohol to rethink their policies on serving those who have had a few too many.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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