It is illegal to drive while intoxicated in the State of Texas. However, drunk drivers still take to the roads, and sometimes, tragedy follows. Suffering from an injury or even the death of a loved one due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver can be devastating, but did you know that the State of Texas provides recourse for individuals injured as a result of an intoxicated driver? Texas has enacted statutes for individuals injured or killed by drunk drivers. This liquor liability statute creates a liability commonly referred to as the “Dram Shop” statute.
Understanding the Dram Shop Statute
The Dram Shop statute has provisions that hold licensed establishments such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores liable for selling or serving alcohol to individuals who should not have been served, and who later cause injuries or death to themselves or others as a result of their intoxication. Under Texas law, anyone who sells alcohol or supplies alcohol should refuse to serve people who are visibly intoxicated. If you were hit by a drunk driver or were otherwise injured by somebody who had too much to drink, the person who supplied the alcohol could be held accountable and owe money damages.
Liability in Texas Under the Dram Shop Statute
Liability in Texas for violation of the Dram Shop Act occurs when, at the time the provision occurred, it was apparent to the provider that the individual being sold, served, or provided with an alcoholic beverage was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he/she presented a clear danger to himself/herself or others; and the intoxication of the recipient of the alcoholic beverage was the proximate cause of the damages suffered.
Under Texas law, anyone who sells alcohol or supplies alcohol should refuse to serve people who are visibly intoxicated. If you were hit by a drunk driver or were otherwise injured by somebody who had too much to drink, the person who supplied the alcohol could be held accountable.
Additionally, Dram Shop liability holds providers responsible when they sell or furnish alcohol to a person under the age of 21. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of the intoxication of a person who is under 21, you may have a claim against the party who furnished alcohol to them. This could include a bar, restaurant, or a non-parent who had actual knowledge that the person was not 21 yet provided or furnished alcohol.