There is little doubt that the instances of drunk driving have reached crisis proportions in Texas. According to statistics provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2013 alone, there were 25,479 drunk-driving-related accidents in the state of Texas, resulting in 15,687 injuries and 1,337 fatalities. That represents 39.5 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state for that year.
Multiple Legal Options for Victims of Drunk Drivers
One of the most tragic aspects of the drunk driving epidemic is that it’s all preventable; every single driver who drove drunk and ended up in those car accidents chose to put themselves behind the wheel and put themselves and everyone else on the road in greater danger. Victims of this sort of careless and irresponsible behavior should understand that many legal remedies exist to hold those responsible for the negligent decisions they make.
Obviously, the injured drunk driving accident victim may be able to get a recovery from the inebriated driver who caused the accident and their injuries, including medical bills and other related expenses as well as lost wages and income and a number of other losses. But thanks to a section of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, restaurants, clubs, bars or taverns who can be shown allowed an intoxicated patron to leave their establishment and subsequently injured a third party can be held liable, as well.
How the Bar May Be Responsible
In order to recover under this law, the victim must prove that the bar provided or sold alcohol to that person, that it was or should have been evident to the provider that the person was obviously intoxicated and posed a danger to themselves and others and that the intoxication was the “proximate cause” of the accident and the victim’s injuries. In addition, any adult who knowingly serves alcohol to a minor under 18 or allows them to drink on their premises can also be held liable for damages proximately caused by that minor if they subsequently drive drunk and cause an accident. The only exception to that is if the adult is a parent, guardian or spouse of the minor.
Nothing is more reckless than driving drunk. When a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, whether prescription or illegal, they are often unaware of many of the circumstances surrounding their vehicle as they drive down the road. They may go too fast, swerve between lanes or fail to brake for a vehicle or other obstruction in front of them. They are a menace on the road and there are too many of them in the state of Texas. That’s why the state has strong criminal penalties in place to punish those who negligently choose to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above 0.08.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver contact the experienced Houston drunk driving accident attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates, where you can tell us what happened and we can explain all of your available options.