Car keys next to an alcoholic drink

We have blogged several times previously regarding this awful subject matter: drinking and driving. This sad incident happened about 6 months ago right in the middle of Dallas. It is reported here.

According to the article, the lady alleged to be drunk and driving had consumed, at a local bar in the West Village, a “single margarita infused with tequila shots,” in addition to taking medication for ADHD.

We will let the criminal courts determine whether the driver was intoxicated and, if so, whether that caused this incident. 

Chances are that the driver either had no insurance or, if she did, the liability limits are low. Frankly, no amount of money could truly compensate the family of the SMU student who innocently died. Such a tragedy.

Liability for Texas Bars in Drunk Driving Accident Cases

Since driver insurance limits in these cases are usually low, it is important to remember that a restaurant or bar in Texas can, in many circumstances, be liable in damages for over-serving alcohol to a vehicle driver who kills or injures. Restaurants and bars routinely carry at least $1,000,000 in liability coverage. And restaurants and bars in Texas have a responsibility to not continue to provide or sell alcohol to someone if “at the time the provision occurred it was apparent to the [bar/restaurant] that the individual being sold, served, or provided with an alcoholic beverage was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others.” Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §2.02(b)(1).

This basically means that if the restaurant/bar knows or should have known its customer is drunk – and there are many signs of it, including the bar tab with multiple drinks on it and the customer’s outward, visible appearance of drunkenness (sometimes preserved on video) — then it’s illegal to sell him or her one more drink. They need to shut it down. The act of liability is selling just another drop of alcohol to the drunk customer.

These incidents happen far too often. Please, please do not drink and drive. Get an Uber or a Lyft, or just don’t drink if you must drive. But please be safe and avoid these tragedies. 

Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP Can Help

If you or a loved one has been severely injured or killed because a bar or restaurant over-served a customer, immediately contact the Dallas dram shop lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP. We have successfully recovered millions in damages for drunk-driving victims and their families. The injury or death does not necessarily have to be driving related. It can result from other bad acts, such as gun violence or fights. These are routinely alcohol-fueled. Further, if you or a loved one was over-served by a bar or restaurant and self-injury or death occurred – that is, you or the loved one, and not some third party was injured — that can also be a case. In any event, do not wait. It is important to act quickly so that evidence is preserved and memories do not fade.

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