Can A Bar Or Restaurant Be Held Liable For A Drunk Driving Accident In Texas?

Motor vehicle accidents can be physically and emotionally painful for the victims. It feels even worse when the accident is the result of a drunk driver, since the damage could have so easily been prevented with a phone call to a cab or a friend. A drunk driver bears responsibility for their DWI accident, but they may not be the only legally negligent party. In Texas, any business serving alcohol has a legal duty to make sure they are not serving dangerous levels of alcohol to their patrons. Negligent alcohol providers can be held legally liable for a DWI accident caused by a customer they over-served. If you or a loved one has been involved in a DWI accident in Texas and you believe the driver may have been over-served at a bar or restaurant an experienced DWI accident attorney can help.

The History Of Dram Shop Liability In Texas

can a bar be held responsible for drunk driver in texasIn 1987 the state legislature passed the Texas Dram Shop Act. The goal of the act was to find some legal balance between protecting from over-served patrons and protecting alcohol providers’ ability to run their business without facing excessive litigation. The act gave a legal pathway to sue a bar or a restaurant for negligently continuing to serve a dangerously intoxicated person. The Act also provides a ‘safe harbor’ defense for providers. This defense allows alcohol providers to escape any potential liability if they can prove they took certain affirmative steps to train and encourage them their employees to recognize and avoid over-serving patrons.

The Texas Supreme Court Recently Made It More Difficult For Plaintiffs

In 2007 the Texas Supreme Court decided the case of FFP Operating Partners v. Duenez. The case involved a convenience store selling a case of beer to an already extremely drunk man, who then immediately was involved in a serious car accident. The important result of the case was that the Texas Supreme Court changed their legal interpretation of the 1987 Dram Shop Act. The court ruled that the Act only imposes liability on an alcohol provider if that provider is deemed to be at least 51 percent at fault for the accident. So, currently a court has to find that the alcohol provider is more responsible for the drunk driving accident than the intoxicated driver. Otherwise, the provider is not liable. This means that it is more important than ever to retain the services of an experienced Texas DWI accident attorney. If you have been the victim of a drunk driver, a qualified attorney will make sure every negligent party is held liable and pays their fair share of the blame.

Contact An Experienced San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a DWI accident, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced DWI car accident attorney in San Antonio. Every negligent party that played a part in a DWI accident should bear responsibility for their bad actions. An experienced attorney will analyze your case and determine the next step. You deserve full and fair compensation. If you have any questions about bar liability for DWI accidents or Texas drunk driving accidents in general, contact the law office of San Antonio Injury Lawyer today.