AUSTIN, Texas. If you’re planning Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends, before you uncork the bottles and set out the spirits, you’ll want to think about keeping your guests safe first. In Texas, hosts who let guests drive drunk run the risk of facing liability if drunk guests get into an accident and injure themselves or other people. Individuals who serve minors alcohol also run the risk of facing liability if the minor gets into an accident and hurts other people. So, before you begin holiday celebrations this year, consider how you’ll protect your guests from getting overly intoxicated and think about how you’ll help intoxicated guests get home safely.
According to the Texas Bar, the law on social host liability in Texas can be complex. The best way to protect yourself from the possibility of any liability is to ensure that your guests have a way to get home safely. Something as simple as offering guests an Uber or Lyft ride home can protect you and your guests.
Dram shop laws in Texas also hold liquor stores and bars liable if they knowingly sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated individuals. According to Investopedia, individuals who are hurt by a drunk driver may be entitled to make a claim against a bar or liquor store if it sold alcohol to a person who may have already been intoxicated. To protect themselves against lawsuits, many bars and liquor stores have insurance to protect them should a claim arise.
In a dram shop case, the victim or family must prove that the bar or liquor store had reason to believe that the person purchasing alcohol was already drunk. Furthermore, the victims must prove that the person’s drinking contributed to their accident. Liquor stores and bars have a responsibility to train bartenders and vendors to watch for signs of drinking. If bartenders don’t receive this training or if a bar is known to sell alcohol to intoxicated persons, then victims might have a strong case.
When it comes to alcohol a person has been served at a party, it can be harder to prove liability, unless the host of the party knowingly served alcohol to minors, or made alcohol available to minors through negligence. Additionally, short of giving a drunk person the keys to their car, social hosts may not necessarily be able to control what their guests do once they leave their home.
The Robson Law Firm wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Plan ahead this year and consider how you’ll get home if you plan to visit family or if you plan to host or attend a “Friendsgiving” festivity. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident due to another person’s drunk driving, the Robson Law Firm are drunk driving lawyers in Austin, Texas who may be able to help you make a claim under the law. Our firm can review the details of your case and help you seek damages under Texas’s dram shop laws, if applicable. Visit us at https://robsonlawfirm.com/ to learn more.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200