What is Dram Shop Liability?
A dram shop injury claim seeks to hold the seller of alcohol (Bars) legally responsible for furnishing alcohol to an individual who goes on to cause an alcohol-related injury. Texas dram shop law states that an alcohol provider can be civilly liable for serving beverages to an individual who is obviously intoxicated and poses a hazard to him/herself or others if the customer’s intoxication was the cause of another person’s injuries or even their own. Dram shop liability means an alcohol seller can be held accountable for a DUI accident if it provided the at-fault party with the alcohol that caused intoxication.
What Establishments Can Be Held Responsible?
Texas’ dram shop law defines an alcohol provider as anyone who sells or serves alcoholic beverages using an alcohol license or permit. This broad definition covers just about anyone who sells or serves alcohol to another person whose intoxication causes injuries. This can include bars, restaurants, nightclubs, liquor stores, and individuals.
Does Dram Shop Liability Relate to Car Accidents?Dram shop laws in Texas do not only relate to drunk driving auto accidents. A dram shop could also be vicariously liable for alcohol-related assaults, sex crimes, acts of violence, property damage, vandalism and other crimes or acts of negligence an intoxicated person commits if the dram shop furnished the alcohol to the individual.
How Will Negligence Be Proven in My Dram Shop Case?
Drinking establishments may be held liable for an injury caused by a customer if:
- The alcohol was sold or given to a minor under age 18, or
- The alcohol was sold to an obviously intoxicated person who posed a clear danger to themselves or others, and
- The intoxication was a direct cause of the injuries suffered.
Police Statements/ReportsWe can gather statements from the police officers present as well as the official reports and investigations including those conducted by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission.
Bar RecordsWe'll look through the records the bar kept from the day of the incident to see what they sold the defendant, look at the time frame and how much was sold.
Training RecordsTABC guidelines must be followed by an establishment that serves alcohol regarding the training of servers. We'll look to see if there is proof of training and if the establishment followed through with enforcing those guidelines.
Who Can Bring a Dram Shop Lawsuit?
There is a wide range of people that bring a dram shop lawsuit including:
- Other drivers, passengers or pedestrians injured by the intoxicated driver
- Passengers in the intoxicated driver’s car
- The drunk driver themselves