Drunk Driving Accidents and Dram Shop Cases
Written by Greg on January 18, 2014
The term ‘dram shop’ is an ‘olden’ term that refers to a tavern, bar or other type of establishment in which liquor is served. A ‘dram’, then, was a word that indicated the specific and small amount of alcohol by which liquor was sold.
Today, dram shop liability is indicative of the laws that are in place to protect the public from the irresponsible behavior of bar owners (and the like) who may serve alcohol to minors OR an individual who is visibly intoxicated. ‘Dram’ laws seek to hold both the bar owner and server accountable for serving alcohol to a minor or individual who is obviously drunk if that person then goes out and injures or kills another person in a drunk driving accident.
These laws do require the plaintiff to demonstrate that their injuries were the result of a tavern owner or server having ‘over-served’ the person who caused the accident. That is not always as easy as it sounds and in Texas the laws are designed to limit lawsuits against bars that over serve customers by requiring, in some cases, that the victim’s family prove that the bar encouraged its employees to over serve customers.
In one recent lawsuit reported in the news a young person was killed in a head-on collision when a person left a bar visibly intoxicated and lost control of his car. The club owner was found responsible and seven figure damage award was given in compensation in the lawsuit.
Dram shop laws firmly imply that we cannot simply be innocent bystanders as we watch an intoxicated person get behind the wheel of their vehicle and attempt to drive drunk. Be proactive and step in. The life you save may be that of someone you love. Don’t drive or ride drunk! If the bar or club serves a person in Texas who is obviously intoxicated when they continue to serve the customer, they may be found responsible for the damages that result for over-serving the customer.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a DWI accident, it is important to seek help from an experienced attorney who handles dram shop cases. Call the Baumgartner Law Firm for a free consultation about your rights and options- (281) 587-1111.