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When is a bar liable for a car accident caused by a drunk driver?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Drunk Driving Accidents

How much liability do bars and restaurants have when they overserve alcohol and the drunk customer causes a road accident? According to dram shop laws in Texas, bars can be held liable for drunk driving accidents.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code outlines a dram shop’s civil liability when they overserve their patrons; any establishment that overserves a patron to the point of intoxication may be held liable for resulting damages if the customer causes a road accident.

How to pursue legal action

To pursue legal action against a bar or restaurant, you must prove that the establishment knew the customer was drunk and presented a clear danger to themselves and others. Yet, the patron was still served, even though the establishment understood the danger this could cause.

How bars and other alcohol providers should be accountable

Alcohol providers owe a duty to the general public to serve alcohol to their patrons in a manner that is reasonable and safe. Therefore, once a customer is clearly intoxicated, they shouldn’t be served more alcohol even if they order it because copious amounts of alcohol impair a person’s decision-making ability.

An intoxicated patron may:

  • Slur their words
  • Stumble or have trouble staying upright
  • Vomit or complain about being nauseous
  • Begin ordering more drinks at a rapid pace
  • Display aggressive behavior

Because of this Texas dram shop law, someone who got hurt or lost a loved one in an alcohol-related accident may file suit against the establishment that served the driver to absolute intoxication. If you’re considering legal action, seek legal assistance when proving the bar is responsible.