When a drunk driver causes a car accident because of their intoxicated mental state, who is to blame? In Texas, both criminal charges and civil claims can be brought against the driver, primarily for violating the law and negligently driving a car while under the influence. However, most people do not know that the bar or restaurant establishments can also be held liable for the actions of their patrons under certain circumstances.
In order to hold bars accountable for the actions of intoxicated and overserved patrons, a certain standard of negligence on the part of the server, bartender, or establishment is required. This standard of negligence varies from state to state. In Texas, bar and restaurant establishments, or any establishment that serves alcohol, can be held liable for the actions of their patrons if the establishment causes injury or damages to someone as a result of serving alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron, so long as the intoxication of the illegally served patron was the proximate cause of an accident that caused the injury.
The Texas Dram Shop Act (see below) gives those injured by the unlawful overservice of alcohol the right to sue the licensed alcohol provider (bar, restaurant, or any establishment that served alcohol) that over-served the customer–
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 2.02. CAUSES OF ACTION. (. . .)
(b) Providing, selling, or serving an alcoholic beverage may be made the basis of a statutory cause of action under this chapter of this code upon proof that:
(1) at the time the provision occurred 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
(2) the intoxication of the recipient of the alcoholic beverage was a proximate cause of the damages suffered.
For over 70 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to obtain just compensation for our clients. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as the result of a drunk driver, it is important to understand your right to recover. Our attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to obtain just compensation for their clients. Call us today at 713-742-6002 or 1-800-870-9584 for your free consultation.