Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem across Georgia, and throughout the U.S. more than a generation after the reform of drunk driving laws. Drunk driving accidents are the cause of nearly 1/3 of all accident in our country each year. A car accident caused by a drunk driver is different than other types of car accidents because drunk driving is against the law. If you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you have the right to pursue additional compensation against the driver known as punitive damages.
Additionally, dram shop laws make it possible to hold certain people or businesses responsible for injuries caused by an intoxicated person. Dram shop laws typically apply to:
- Bars, restaurants, night clubs, convenience stores, liquor stores, grocery stores as well as concert and sports venues.
- Waiters, party hosts, and other alcohol servers.
A lawsuit brought against one of the above individuals or businesses typically happens when they have served a patron or guest alcohol, and that person injures someone else. For example, if a restaurant patron is served alcohol when he is visibly intoxicated, and then gets in a car and kills someone on the way home, the bar can be sued for damages. The victim can bring a civil action against the server and the owner of the bar. The purpose of dram shop laws is to prevent the selling of alcohol to minors and to those individuals who are visibly impaired.
A plaintiff suing another person or entity under Georgia dram shop laws must show:
- Alcohol was served to the patron by the bar, restaurant, alcohol retailer, or even a host at a private party.
- There is evidence that the server of alcohol noticed or should have noticed that the patron was intoxicated when serving him with alcohol.
- There was also knowledge that the patron would soon be driving a motor vehicle when being served alcohol.
- The patron caused injuries or other damages.
Proving fault of the alcohol provider can be a difficult task. The most important questions that arise are how visibly intoxicated the patron was before being served more alcohol, and did the server know that the person was going to drive a vehicle. These issues are also the reason why it’s critical for an injury victim to hire a skilled attorney. An experienced Georgia dram shop attorney will be able to investigate all the facts, such as the amount of alcohol served, who served it, and how long the patron was drinking at the alcohol provider’s premises, whether or not the patron’s id was verified, whether or not their was video footage or other critical evidence. Call now 404-436-1529.