Drinking and driving is a problem in American. It is one of the most easily preventable causes of deaths of Americans on the highways each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, crashed caused by alcohol-impaired drivers kill 29 people each day in the United States. This means that one person dies every 50 minutes during a motor vehicle accident.
When the influence of alcohol causes a car accident, most people think that the only person to blame is the one who was driving drunk. While drunk drivers should always receive blame for their decisions which kill or injure others, the state of Texas adds extra accountability to impaired driving accidents. The state does this using a law known as the Texas Dram Shop Law.
What Does the Texas Dram Shop Law Do?
This law is found in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Chapter 2 and creates a set of laws which hold hosts and vendors liable for overserving alcohol to a guest or customer. This law creates penalties in three significant situations.
The Texas Dram Show Law makes the following illegal:
- Serving alcohol to minors
- Serving alcohol to a person who is obviously intoxicated and poses a threat to others
- A person’s intoxication could predictably cause harm to others
So, if a bar worker or owner serves alcohol to a person who is later involved in a severe car accident, they could be held liable for any injuries that person causes. The Texas Dram Shop Law is important because it places responsibility on those who should be able to make correct decisions for those who are impaired.
Social Drinking Laws in Texas
As mentioned above, the Texas Dram Shop Law also applies to those who are serving alcohol to guests during a social setting. This social host liability law makes it illegal for any host over 21 to provide alcohol to someone under 18 if their legal guardian is not present. Additionally, the law bans adults from knowingly allowing minors to consume alcohol on their property.
If a minor causes an accident because of alcohol impairment, they might be able to hold the person responsible for losses caused by the crash. Essentially, this law holds adults accountable for allowing minors to drink before they should be allowed to do so.
What Can Someone Recover Under the Texas Dram Shop Law?
A person can recover finances lost to medical bills, missed work, and any damaged property caused by a person who was overserved alcohol. In some instances, a person will also be able to pursue compensation for pain and suffering caused by an intoxicated individual.
Additionally, the intoxicated person might be able to file a case against an establishment for their losses. In these cases, losses might include the damages they had to pay to others that they injured. This is a possibility because the person was impaired before their accident, and the shop had a legal responsibility to prevent them from consuming more alcohol or leaving their establishment in a way that places others at risk.
Can I Make a Claim for Damages Under the Texas Dram Shop Law?
Your ability to make a claim under the Texas Dram Shop Law depends on the specifics of your case. Every person’s situation is different, and a variety of factors influence their ability to pursue compensation using the Texas Dram Shop Law. The most crucial component of a claim is how much a dram shop is responsible for a person’s accident. A jury must find a shop to be more than 50 percent liable for a person’s injuries. So, if a driver is mostly at fault for an accident, a Texas Dram Shop Law might not be possible.
If you suspect that you have claim under this law, then you should call Arnold & Itkin immediately for a free consultation. Our team is ready to listen to your store and help you decide your legal options at no cost. If we take your case, we’ll charge no fee unless we win results for you!
Call us today with your Texas Dram Shop Law questions at (888) 493-1629. Our team is ready to answer your questions and help you take the next step toward recovery.