Texas Dram Shop Law – The Liability of Bar Owners
According to Fathers Against Drunk Drivers (FADD) International, more than a quarter of a million people have died in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers over the last 10 years. More than half of all fatal car accidents involving two or more vehicles include at least one driver under the influence of alcohol. For single car wrecks, the likelihood of drinking and driving is even higher—alcohol is involved in nearly two of every three fatal single-vehicle wrecks.
When a loved one is lost or injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you have the right to seek compensation from anyone whose negligence or carelessness caused, in whole or in part, any of your losses. Of course, that includes the at-fault driver. But what about the person or establishment that served the driver alcohol? What is the liability of a bar, lounge, tavern, or restaurant when a patron imbibes too much and causes a motor vehicle accident? What about the bartender or person who served the alcohol?
Texas Dram Shop Law
Specific state statutes, known as “dram shop” laws, govern the liability of establishments and their employees when patrons who are served alcohol subsequently cause injury or commit crimes. These laws vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Texas is among the vast majority of states (42) that have dram shop laws on the books.
According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, a bar or retailer can be liable for serving or selling alcoholic beverages to a customer. However, the law requires that the customer be visibly or otherwise obviously intoxicated at the time the alcohol is sold or served. To recover in a lawsuit, the injured person must show that bar employees knew or should have known that the customer was impaired. It must have been obvious to the employee that the intoxicated person presented a “clear danger” to their own safety and the safety of others.
In addition, to recover under Texas dram shop law, you must show that the intoxication was a proximate cause of any injuries sustained. In essence, “proximate” means reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances.
Texas dram shop law also imposes liability on any establishment that sells or provides alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.
Contact the Proven Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to anyone who suffers injury because of the wrongful acts of others. For an appointment with a proven Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call us today at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.