Accident And Injury Lawyers Liability Of Bars And Restaurants For DUI Accidents
“We were hit by a drunk driver, who spent all day drinking at a nearby bar. Is the bar owner responsible when they continued to serve the other driver alcohol when he was already intoxicated?”
A significant number of auto accidents involve alcohol. In cases where the actions of a bar, tavern or restaurant contribute significantly to the inebriated state of a driver they, as well as the drunken driver, can be held liable for damages. Referred to as “dram shop laws,” liquor establishments are required to serve alcohol responsibly. In the state of Washington, a restaurant or bar cannot sell alcohol to a minor, to someone who is obviously intoxicated, after hours, or without a valid liquor license (other laws apply to liquor stores and grocers). If a bar sells alcohol illegally, it can be liable for any death or serious injury caused by the illegal sale.
- In the state of Washington, a restaurant or bar cannot sell alcohol to a minor, to someone who is obviously intoxicated, after hours, or without a valid liquor license (other laws apply to liquor stores and grocers).
- If a bar sells alcohol illegally, it can be liable for any death or serious injury caused by the illegal sale.
Forms Of Liability And Dram Shop Laws
While each case is different, liability under dram shop laws can range from serving liquor without a license to inadequately training employees who serve or sell alcohol. For instance, a restaurant may serve alcohol to a driver who is underage. If wait staff failed to card the driver or if restaurant management never instituted a carding policy for their wait staff, they may be liable under Washington state dram shop laws. Likewise, if a bar patron is clearly inebriated but a bartender continues to serve them, the bartender may be liable as well for any car accidents caused by the drunk patron.
Investigating The Actions Of A Bar Or Restaurant
Since employee turnover in bars and restaurants is fairly high and eyewitnesses can be difficult to track down over time, it’s essential that a dram shop DUI case be investigated as soon as possible after an accident. Our attorneys work with private investigators to track down eyewitnesses, evaluating credit card statements, review video footage, and obtain copies of bar and restaurant tabs to determine how much alcohol was served to a driver and for how long.
The Cost Of A DUI Accident
Drunk drivers often cause fatalities and death because they speed excessively or cause head-on collisions from going the wrong way on a highway or street. Our attorneys seek damages for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages when gross negligence is involved.