Posted on Sep 29, 2011

Under Georgia's dram shop law, an establishment that serves alcohol can be held accountable for damages caused by its patrons. Club Blaze, an Atlanta strip club, has been ordered to pay $1.75 million to the family of a woman who died in a Douglas County DUI car crash in 2008.


The accident occurred on the July 4th weekend. Forty-one-year-old Otis South of Mableton had been drinking at club Blaze. It was 1:45 a.m. when he headed the wrong way on I-20 and slammed his Lincoln Town Car head-on into a Pontiac Sunbird. Both South and the other driver, 22-year-old Fatima Bird of Douglasville died in the crash. Fatima Bird was the mother of two young children.


One of Ms. Bird's passengers, 26-year-old Melisa Sinkfield of Atlanta, died as she was being taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Only 22-year-old Keonda Brown of Carrollton survived.

A blood alcohol test revealed that South had a blood alcohol level of 0.398, almost five times the legal limit.


On September 15, a jury in Dekalb State Court returned the verdict against Club Blaze.


We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this tragic accident.

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Shane Smith
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