Why are bars and restaurants part of the problem with drunk driving wrecks?
At The Button Law Firm, we represent individuals who have been impacted by drunk driving. Sometimes, determining liability in these cases is difficult, because there are so many factors to consider. The bottom line is: we are dealing with an excessive amount of alcohol in an driver's system. How the driver got to that level of intoxication is another question.
When considering the source of the alcohol, we look at where the driver was prior to the wreck. If at a bar or restaurant, we want to know what happened there. For example, if a bar left a bottle of whiskey on the counter top for patrons to serve themselves without any monitoring at all, there is a great likelihood that the wreck could have been prevented. Don't give a patron a full bottle to serve themselves unsupervised then drive home.
They could have gotten drunk in the parking lot... But they didn't.
Sometimes we hear "well they could have gotten drunk in the parking lot or at home then got behind the wheel, why should this be any different"? The answer is simple - it didn't happen because this person got drunk at home or in the parking lot. It happened by allowing a patron to have more than 1 drink per hour. It happened because the bartenders were inadequately trained to notice the amount of drinks served or the bar didn't have a proper system set up to count the drinks per person.
Every one is different.
While it is true that everyone handles alcohol differently, the fact that you cannot easily tell whether some one is drunk by observing their behavior is the reason why the gold standard for serving alcohol is one drink per hour.
Some people get angry when they are drunk. Other people get happy or become a risk taker when they are drunk. Finally, some people get really quiet and calm. There is no set answer or standard protocol for how a drunk person will react on a certain day.
What are we looking for in a case against the bar or restaurant?
As soon as we get brought into these cases, we immediately look into a few things:
1) Training - How were the bartenders trained? What were the qualifications of the individuals that were allowed to serve alcohol? How often were they trained?
2) Supervision - When things got busy, were there supervisors that were able to monitor how much each patron was served? Were systems put in place to do this automatically?
3) Documentation and Video Evidence - What did the bar or restaurant retain on video? Was the video conveniently destroyed or not recording that day? What does the receipt say?
We can answer any other questions you have.
I want to provide answers to your questions. Do you need help knowing the answers to simple questions about your injury case? Download my free book called The Essential Guide For Your Texas Injury Case by clicking here. Use it as a resource for becoming informed about injury and wrongful death claims in Texas.
As always, if we can answer any questions or even do a free strategy session on your potential case, reach out to us directly at 214-888-2216 or email me at [email protected] We would love to hear from you and are here to help.