How Can Businesses Be Held Liable for Thanksgiving Drunk Driving Accidents?

Thanksgiving Eve, or the night before Thanksgiving, has a reputation for being one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. It has been coined many names, including Drunksgiving. In turn, bars are busier than usual. Unfortunately, that also means a greater likelihood for drunk drivers, because more people are not planning ahead about how to get home safely at the end of the night.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you could have legal options to make a personal injury claim against that person for damages and injuries. However, in Texas, you could also have a claim against the business or vendor who provided the drunk driver their alcohol. This is due to Texas dram shop laws.

What Are Dram Shop Laws?

Dram shop laws assign legal responsibility or liability to businesses or vendors who provide alcohol to customers and guests. If their customers become too intoxicated and cause harm to other people, then that business or vendor shares the responsibilities and consequences of that intoxicated customer’s actions.

Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, a business or vendor could be held liable for damages or injuries caused by a drunken customer or guest if:

  • the alcohol was provided or sold to a minor under the age of 18;
  • the alcohol was provided or sold to a customer or guest who was visibly intoxicated enough to be a danger to himself and to others;
  • the customer or guest’s intoxication was an immediate cause of suffered damages and injuries.

Therefore, if a customer makes the irresponsible decision to drive after drinking at a bar and gets into a car crash with another motorist, the bar who supplied the alcohol to the drunk driver could be held liable for damages or injuries imposed on the other motorist. These statutes are applicable to persons whose damages or injuries were caused by an intoxicated customer’s actions.

If you have been involved in a car crash with a drunk driver, then you may have a viable claim against the establishment who provided them alcohol. Dram shop laws can be difficult to understand.

If you have questions about your rights, reach out to a Houston personal injury attorney to discuss your situation. The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC represents clients in Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas in a variety of personal injury cases. Call us at (832) 460-5181 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

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