What is Dram Shop Liability?

What does it mean if you have a dram shop or a liquor liability claim? Hi, I'm Brad Parker, the attorney you want but hope you never need and this is another edition of bar talk.  Give me 90 seconds and I'll tell you what it's all about.

 

So, you’ve got a claim that's based on dram shop liability or liquor liability, what that means is is that someone was over-served at a bar and as a result of being over-served, they left the bar drove a car and either injured themselves or someone else. That's what it means when you have a dram shop case; you're suing the bar for over-serving someone. Many times, bars don't pay attention to how much they're serving their patrons all servers of alcoholic beverages are supposed to have certifications from the TABC, that's the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

 

In order to get these certifications each of the servers has to go through a course and they're supposed to learn how to spot someone who is obviously intoxicated and not get them that way or cut them off. If the certification is not there for any particular employee then that makes it a little bit easier to sue the dram shop or the bar for over-serving the patron.

 

These cases can be very complicated and difficult to prove. You've got to show that the bar knew or should have known that their servers were over serving and in fact they encourage them to do so. One of the exceptions to that is if they don't have their certifications. That bar then doesn't get that little bit of a defense or that opportunity to escape liability.

 

Likewise, these cases can be very difficult if the one who's injured is the patron that was over-served. After all the defense will be hey they got intoxicated on their own volition and therefore they're the bar shouldn't be responsible for what happens next. We of course know that this isn't entirely true and that both parties can share a lot of responsibility but when the bar over serves the patron ten drinks in two hours then it's a lot of times that's the impaired judgment that allows the person to get in their car and drive away.

 

The bar wasn't impaired and they should have known better.  In any event these cases can be quite difficult and complicated. If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed because of the negligence of a bar overserving someone give us a call and let me visit with you a little bit more about it.

 

I'm Brad Parker, the attorney you want but hope you never need and this has been another edition of Bar Talk. Until next time.

 

For more information about the legal process and your rights download our free book at Parkerlawfirm.com.