In Texas, bars, clubs, and restaurants can be held responsible for injuries caused by patrons who are over-served alcohol in their establishments.
If you or a loved one were injured by an intoxicated person, our leading Dram Shop lawyer in San Antonio, Attorney Felix Gonzalez, may be able to help you get compensation under Texas Dram Shop laws. Our free consultations come with no obligation and no pressure. Our drunk driving accident lawyers simply want to help you understand your rights and options.
Establishments that can legally serve alcohol in Bexar County have a responsibility to their customers and the community to serve appropriate amounts of alcohol to their patrons. Unfortunately, they don’t always take this responsibility seriously.
As a result, Texas passed the Texas Dram Shop Act in 1987, and it applies to most bars, clubs, restaurants, and other alcohol-serving establishments across the state. The Act is designed to hold businesses responsible when they fail to serve alcohol responsibly and it results in injury or death.
Specifically, the Act holds alcohol-serving establishments responsible if:
- The establishment sold or served to the individual alcohol when they were already intoxicated.
- The individual was clearly intoxicated to the point that they presented a danger to themselves or others.
- The serving or selling of alcohol was the direct cause of the injuries, damages, or death sustained.
Most dram shop cases in Texas are based on drunk driving accidents. However, that’s not the only type of accident that alcohol-serving establishments can be held responsible for.
- Bar fights or other instances of violence that result in injury and were directly the result of intoxication
- Slips, trips, and falls due to intoxication
- Motorcycle accidents caused by an over-served rider
- Any other damages or injuries that are the direct result of an intoxicated individual
Dram Shop laws do not exist to pardon or excuse intoxicated persons from taking responsibility for their choices. Rather, the purpose of Dram Shop laws is to make sure that establishments that recklessly over-serve alcohol are held responsible for their contribution to your accident or injuries.
Additionally, many drunk drivers don’t have enough insurance to cover the damages and injuries they cause. Therefore, in many cases, both the establishment and the intoxicated individual are listed as defendants, and each are held liable for their own negligent and irresponsible actions.
This ensures that you and your loved ones are fully compensated for your injuries, pain, and suffering. It also sends a clear message that over-serving and over-drinking will not be tolerated.
Liquor-licensed establishments in San Antonio often try to avoid liability by using the Safe Harbor Defense. The establishment will try to argue that:
- They require all their employees/servers to attend a TABC seller training program.
- The employee who over-served attended and passed the training.
- The employer did not encourage the employee to over-serve.
Essentially, the establishment can argue that they made every effort to serve responsibly and are therefore not responsible for the actions of one reckless employee.
Establishments that over-serve often abuse and overuse the Safe Harbor Defense. They instantly use it as an excuse to try and get a dram shop case against them thrown out of court.
To prevent this type of defense, an early investigation is essential. We must be able to find witnesses, collect evidence, and gather documentation before they are compromised.
As experienced Dram Shop Lawyers, we’ll dig deep to hold the responsible parties liable and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today!
We are happy to answer additional questions during your free consultation.