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What is “Dram Shop Liability” and how can it affect my DUI injury claim?

In the United States about 16,000 people a year are killed in drunk driving accidents – this is an average of one person killed by a drunk driver every half-hour.  In fact, alcohol is a factor in almost half of all car crashes.
 
Who is responsible for drunk driving deaths?

 
Of course, the driver is responsible for his own choice to drink and drive.  Driving while under the influence is illegal and Georgia drivers who cause fatal drunk driving accidents face felony manslaughter charges.
 
In additional to criminal charges, Georgia drunk drivers may also face a civil lawsuit brought on by the victims of the accident.  Victims of Atlanta drunk driving crashes have the right to sue for damages, including:
 
•    Medical expenses
•    Property damage
•    Loss of income
•    Pain and suffering
•    Wrongful death
 
Dram Shop Liability
 
However, establishments such as bars, restaurants and night clubs which serve alcohol also have the responsibility to make sure they are not sending drunk drivers out on the road. “Dram shop liability” is a term that holds businesses that serve alcohol accountable for the damages caused by their patrons.  Under Georgia’s liquor liability statutes, those who are seriously injured or have lost family members in drunk driving accidents can file a civil lawsuits for injury and wrongful death claims against the bar, tavern, restaurant, night club or other establishment that provided alcohol to a clearly impaired person. However, it must be proven that the driver was intoxicated when he was served his last alcoholic beverage.
 
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident, you deserve compensation for all your losses.  Atlanta accident attorney Shane Smith cares about the victims of drunk drivers.  Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999 to schedule a free legal consultation to learn about your rights. When you call, be sure to request our free book, “10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.”


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia