When a drunk driver injures or kills someone, victims and surviving family members may be able to hold those beyond the driver themselves liable under what are known as “dram shop” laws. The premise behind these laws is that a restaurant or bar that overserves a customer and allows them to leave the premises and get behind the wheel when they were clearly impaired bear some responsibility for what occurs afterwards.
What are dram shop laws?
Texas, like many states, has “dram shop” laws that address these establishments’ liability in drunk driving and in illegally serving minors. Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, establishments can be held liable if they served alcohol to someone when “it was apparent to the provider that the individual being sold, served, or provided with an alcoholic beverage was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others” and that person’s intoxication “was a proximate cause of the damages suffered.”
Lubbock bar faces litigation and investigation
A bar and grill in Lubbock is facing a $1 million lawsuit by the mother of a 19-year-old woman who was killed by a drunk driver. The driver, who is facing manslaughter and aggravated assault charges, told police that he had been drinking at the bar prior to the deadly crash.
In addition to the lawsuit, the bar is also dealing with an investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commissioner. Texas establishments that violate dram shop laws can face penalties like the loss of their license.
When a loved one is killed by a drunk driver, it’s important to hold all responsible parties liable, regardless of whatever criminal and other statutory penalties they may face. A wrongful death suit can help you get the compensation you need as you move forward.