What are Dram Shop Laws?

People in bar who may drink and drive, needing auto accident attorney in Houston
If you have been a victim of drunk driving, a Houston auto accident attorney can help ensure those responsible are held accountable for their actions.

Dram shop laws regulate when the owners of alcohol-serving establishments can be held liable for providing alcohol to an overly intoxicated customer who later causes an accident, injury, or death while driving. If you have been the victim of an intoxication-related accident and believe that dram shop laws are directly related to your case, a Houston auto accident attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities. 

Knowing about dram shop laws is essential for any driver in the Houston area so that they can help protect themselves and others from potential harm. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of dram shop laws and their implications in Texas so you have a better understanding of your legal rights if you are a victim of a drunk driving incident or tragedy. 

For a free consultation, contact our legal team so we can review your case information together.

Where Did Dram Shop Laws Come From?

Dram shop laws were developed as an attempt to curb alcohol-related accidents. These laws originated in England in the 1700s and were brought over to the United States in the early 1800s. They were initially meant to hold tavern owners accountable for serving visibly intoxicated customers who went on to cause harm to others. 

Today, these laws exist in variations across every state, and have been expanded to include liability for serving minors. Auto accident attorneys in Houston are familiar with the specific application of these laws to incidents that happen in Texas.

Dram Shop Laws Hold People Who Serve Liquor Accountable 

Have you ever wondered what happens if a bartender continues to serve a customer who is already drunk? Or what if a person throws a party at their house and allows their guest to consume alcohol, and one of those guests causes an accident while driving under the influence? 

These situations, and others like them, are covered by dram shop laws. These laws hold establishments and individuals responsible for serving alcohol to individuals who are clearly intoxicated or minors. This includes not only bartenders and servers, but also homeowners and social hosts who serve alcohol on their property. 

If you or someone you know has been injured by a drunk driver, knowing your rights under dram shop laws may be an important tool in seeking justice.

Who is Liable Under Texas Dram Shop Laws?

When it comes to alcohol-related incidents, there are multiple parties who can be deemed liable.

One common misconception about drunk driving accidents is that the individual who consumed alcohol is solely responsible for the incident. However, this is not always the case. The Texas Dram Shop Act laws can hold establishments, such as bars and restaurants, accountable for over-serving alcohol to individuals who then cause harm to others. 

The responsibility often falls on vendors and servers who continue to serve alcohol to an already intoxicated patron. In addition, owners and managers can also face sanctions or lawsuits if they fail to properly train their staff on responsible serving practices or if they knowingly allow underage drinking to occur on their premises. 

It’s essential for everyone in the alcohol service and sales industry to understand their responsibilities and the potential consequences of ignoring them. After all, ensuring the safety of patrons and the general public should always take priority over profits.

Regarding alcohol consumption at a private event, social hosts who provide alcoholic beverages at a house party are only liable if they served alcohol to a minor. They are not liable if an adult guest was over-served and later caused a car accident while driving.

Make a Strong Case with a Houston Auto Accident Attorney

Being a victim of a drunk driving accident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of an establishment that over-served alcohol to someone, it is important to take action. You and your loved ones should not suffer because of someone else’s recklessness. A auto accident attorney in Houston can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice you deserve. 

Compensation you may be entitled to receive may include coverage for:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Fortunately, victims of drunk driving accidents are entitled to certain rights, and have responsibilities to ensure the best possible outcome in their case. You have a responsibility to gather evidence and cooperate with law enforcement and your attorney in order to build a strong case against the responsible party. 

Although the Texas Dram Shop Act is clear about holding negligent parties accountable for drunk driving accidents, bar owners can attempt to use a Safe Harbor defense to avoid liability. Under the Texas Safe Harbor Act, bars and other alcohol-serving establishments can receive protection from legal liability if they can demonstrate that their employees completed required safety training courses.

Your Houston Auto Accident Attorney is on Your Side

Nobody deserves to suffer an accident due to the negligence or carelessness of others. As a victim, it is important to seek the help of a Houston auto accident attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases. They will guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and work to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to seek justice if you’re ever in this situation. 

If you or someone close to you have been affected by a drunk driving incident then don’t wait any longer – your future could depend on it. With the right legal representation, you can hold those responsible accountable for their actions and receive the compensation you need to move forward. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and our team of law professionals will assess every detail needed for you to get the justice that’s due.