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Are Bar Owners Liable for Drunk Customers?

Published on May 31, 2018 at 6:08 pm in Car Accidents.

Georgia code section 51-1-40 allows an injured person to hold a seller of alcohol responsible if the establishment willingly, knowingly, or unlawfully serves alcohol to someone under the age of 21, knowingly serves alcohol to an intoxicated person, or knows the minor or intoxicated person will soon be driving a car.

The owner of a bar, restaurant, liquor store, or other establishment can be sued if one of their intoxicated patrons causes a car accident.  These kinds of cases are governed by “dram shop law” which deals with personal injuries that happen because alcohol was involved.  All states have dram shop laws.

There could be a situation where someone was hit by a drunk driver and had evidence to prove that the driver was over-served at a bar or restaurant. They could proceed with bringing a case against the establishment where they were over-served.

If you or someone you love has been the victim in an accident involving a drunk driver who was over-served alcoholic drinks, an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer can help. Contact our experienced legal team at Bey & Associates for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation of your case.

Who Can Bring a Dram Shop Case to Court?

There are two types of dram shop cases, first party dram shop cases and third party dram shop cases. First party dram shop cases involve injuries to the patron that was sold the alcoholic beverages. Third party dram shop cases involve injuries to someone other than the drunk person.

An establishment may be held liable if they served someone without verifying they were legal drinking age, served alcoholic drinks to someone who already appeared to be intoxicated, served someone after closing time, or served someone an excessive amount of alcohol that would intoxicate a reasonable drinking person.

Establishments can protect themselves against dram shop cases by requiring servers to take alcohol service education courses, encouraging customers to not become intoxicated, promoting the availability of non-alcoholic beverages, or encouraging customers to find another ride home when they have had too much to drink.

What to Do If You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver in Georgia

In any car accident, your health is your first priority. If you or anyone involved in the accident needs an ambulance, call 911. Even if you don’t think it’s an emergency, your shock may mask the injury symptoms. If you are able, you can also give the police your account of what happened.

You should get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll help you with your claim, make sure that your rights are protected, and you want to be well within the given time frame you have for your case.

Statutes of limitations can range from one to six years, depending on the state and the case.  Personal injury cases in the state of Georgia have a statute of limitations of 2 years.

Contacting your lawyer while the accident is fresh in your mind will help you remember details about the case and get you the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.