According to a 2013 Report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2011 there were 1,039 people killed in motor vehicle accidents where the driver was under the influence of alcohol. This figure represents 34.5 percent of the total number of people killed in 2011 from motor vehicle accidents in Texas.
The initial question that arises when a person is negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is who provided alcohol. The next question, if a business establishment provided the alcohol, is whether the establishment served the negligent operator while the negligent operator was obviously intoxicated. Some signs of obvious intoxication may include impaired coordination, reduced judgment and inhibitions, impaired vision and reflexes and a change in normal appearance. In addition, a blood alcohol test may assist in determining whether a business establishment served the negligent operator while he or she was obviously intoxicated.
Even then, an additional question that must be addressed is whether the business establishment required its employees to attend an approved seller/server training class by the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission that would potentially entitle the business establishment to a safe harbor defense under the Texas Dram Shop Act.
Dram shop liability cases are complex and require a thorough investigation of events and business establishments from the time of the initial consumption of the alcoholic beverage up until the time of accident and thereafter. You will need aggressive and experienced representation to assist you in your claim to maximize your recovery. Speak with the attorneys at Hill | Perez, P.C. today for a free consultation.