Houston Dram Shop Attorney
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HOUSTON DRAM SHOP LIABILITY ATTORNEY
You might not have heard of the term, “dram shop,” but you might probably have already been in one. Simply put, dram shops are places serving alcohol to people. To clarify, these places could be bars or restaurants, as well as hotels, sports venues, and other businesses with permission to sell liquor.
And what most people don’t know is that there’s such a thing as “dram shop law.” This is where a commercial establishment such as a bar or restaurant that sells alcohol could be held liable. But only when its customer causes harm due to intoxication.
Basically, a business that sells liquor should stop giving liquor to customers who are visibly drunk. As these customers could pose possible harm to themselves or to other people. This means commercial establishments have the responsibility to ensure everyone’s safety. That they and their customers do not cause detrimental harm to society despite the nature of their business.
Also, persons under intoxication could cause personal injury when they are left on their own. Certainly, there are countless stories of drunk drivers and drunk driving accidents. And this shows just how much damage a drunk person could do if left alone. Imagine a visibly drunk person feeling disorientation and getting behind the wheel.
Nonetheless, imagine the harm that person could do. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal a sobering statistic. They say roughly one-third of deaths resulting from car crashes occur from drunk driving. That’s too much death and tragedy that could have been prevented if a drunk person was not left behind the wheel.
And that is why dram shop laws are in place. They make sure that establishments exercise due responsibility and not just focus on profits. Also, this means that the owner of the dram shop itself, as well as its employees, are properly trained to exercise proper judgment. And they should be keen enough to properly spot a visibly drunk customer. Therefore, they should promptly stop serving liquor to the said individual.
In fact, dram shop cases happen when bars or restaurants excessively serve alcohol to an obviously drunk person. And this is rendering the individual harmful to himself or others. Also, this could range from injury from physical altercations, drunk driving accidents, or in more severe cases, wrongful death.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A DRAM SHOP LIABILITY ATTORNEY?
If you or your loved one find yourselves in an unfortunate situation involving an intoxicated person. You might want to look into getting a dram shop liability claim as well. Perhaps it is one of the many drunk driving accidents that occur in the United States of America every day. The first thing you have to do is get in touch with dram shop attorneys.
Victims could suffer from physical injury and might have to take a break from work in order to gain full recovery. Your car might need lots of repairs, and you might also have to get hospitalized. That means medical expenses and car repair costs on top of lost wages. You might need future assistance from a caregiver at home. You might lose potential earning opportunities because of your injuries.
In this situation, it would be best to have a good lawyer on your side. If your attorney finds reasonable cause that there was a failure on the part of the establishment. And that is to stop its customer from consuming too much alcohol. And then you could look into dram shop liability as well. After all, commercial establishments should also conduct their businesses responsibly. If the negligent contribution in their duties was the cause of the accident, then they should also be held responsible.
A dram shop lawyer could give proper advice and assistance in the investigation of your case, and ultimately ensures that you proper compensation for your physical injury and that justice will be brought to light.
A Houston dram shop attorney will help establish your case if you find yourself a third party in a dram shop case in Houston, Texas, or even some parts of the state of California.
Does Texas Have Dram Shop Laws?
Yes, the law in Texas covers dam shop liability. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code states that a commercial establishment could be held responsible if it was found to have served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual who presents a clear danger to himself or other people.
If there’s clear evidence revealing that an establishment kept serving alcoholic beverages to a visibly drunk customer and that the customer caused physical injury to another person, the victim could file dram shop liability claims.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Is the Dram Shop Liability Act in Texas?
With the enactment of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code as the law governing dram shop liability claims in 1987, there was an existence of some form of dram shop liability in the 1800s. But abolishing it in the early 1900s. Before 1987, there was no recognition of dram shop liability laws in the state of Texas.
The law identifies dram shops as “providers” who were given authority to sell alcohol. Section 2.02 of the law states that providers could be held liable under the following circumstances:
(1) the service of alcohol did not stop even if the customer was obviously intoxicated person “to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others”
(2) alcohol was given to minors
If the provider fails in any of the two responsibilities, the establishment could be held liable for the damages by its drunk customer due to the over-consumption of alcohol.
What is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission?
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is the authority that issues alcohol licenses to establishments. It is also in charge of making sure that establishments follow the dram shop law. It is in charge of approving training to properly equip employees of establishments to identify drunk customers. And to professionally and promptly refuse to serve them alcohol.
Can you sell alcohol in Texas without a license?
Providers cannot operate in Texas without securing the necessary permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Also, that is why it is important that commercial establishments follow guidelines regarding the securing of licenses in order to legally sell alcohol. In fact, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission can revoke the license of providers who are found guilty of dram shop liability.
What is the law for selling alcohol in Texas?
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code is the law that covers rules relating to the selling of alcohol in Texas. This is also as well as an establishment’s social responsibility by adhering to dram shop laws.
What disqualifies you from getting a liquor license in Texas?
A provider or other similar businesses that involve selling liquor needs to secure a permit to operate. And they will have to get a permit from The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Also, there is a possibility that The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission could revoke its license to sell alcohol. Especially if the said establishment has been proven to be negligent in its social responsibility. And not being able to refuse to serve alcohol to minors or to obviously drunk patrons who could cause harm.
In fact. dram shop laws are in place to ensure that establishments are able to immediately identify drunk persons. And to immediately stop serving them alcoholic beverages. As to prevent those persons to cause harm to themselves or to other people.
Who is the third party in a dram shop lawsuit?
The victim suffering from a physical injury from a drunk individual is the third party in a dram shop lawsuit. For example, if you and your friends are drinking at a bar. And then a visibly drunk person suddenly attacks you and causes physical injury. Thus, you could be the third party in this scenario.
Another example would be your involvement in a car accident and receiving severe whiplash injuries. If a drunk driver was found at fault and enough evidence proves that the said person was repeatedly receiving alcohol from the establishment. Even despite being obviously drunk. Then you could be the third party in a dram shop liability claim.
If you find yourself to be an unfortunate victim in these instances, you should get a dram shop attorney.
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TOP QUESTIONS |DRAM SHOP LIABILITY
What Does a Houston Dram Shop Attorney Do?
A Houston dram shop attorney will walk you through the course of your liability claim. Your attorney will help investigate the involvement of an establishment in the third party’s injury. Navigating dram shop liability claims could be quite tricky.
Also, a good dram shop attorney would be able to prove that an establishment was remiss in its duty. Remissing to stop serving alcohol to an already drunk person. This means there was negligence in two areas. The owner or the staff of the establishment did not have the proper training to identify a drunk customer. In addition, bar employees were still serving liquor to drunk customers leading to alcohol overconsumption. If that drunk customer’s actions were the cause of your injury, you can consult with a dram shop attorney regarding the legal remedies that you should take.
And in order to do so, your lawyer should first establish that the customer was still receiving alcoholic beverages despite being obviously drunk. Receipts that determine alcohol overconsumption and witness accounts from the liquor provider could prove to be helpful.
To clarify, dram shop liability cases should also prove that there was negligence on the part of the commercial establishment. Did the bartender continue serving a drunk patron, even though the said customer has been rowdy and causing obvious discomfort among other patrons? Was there any effort from the establishment’s employees to stop the said patron from drinking? What measures were taken to ensure that the drunk customer will be unable to consume alcohol within the establishment’s grounds?
Also, it would be helpful to look into existing records in relation to the establishment. How long has it been in operation? Did it get its liquor license only recently? Do its employees receive up-to-date training with the approval from the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission? When was the last training held? Did the commercial establishment receive previous complaints or similar dram shop liability cases in the past? Being able to access this information could help your lawyer argue whether the establishment has been negligent in its social responsibilities or not.
And then imagine this scenario. You are walking all alone at night, when a car suddenly swerves out of nowhere, hitting you. Maybe you are driving with your child, and suddenly a car crashes into your vehicle, hurting you and your precious baby. You later learn that the driver behind the wheel has been drinking the whole day at the local pub. With no one stopping him from getting one too many drinks earlier.
Maybe you had a long day at work, and you have not eaten a single meal throughout the day. You walk into the restaurant close to your office when you get hit by a drinking glass upon entering the restaurant. You notice that one of the restaurant’s customers is wreaking havoc, and he is uncontrollable and visibly drunk. Blood gushes down your face as other customers tell you that the establishment kept serving the guy beer despite causing everyone discomfort due to his drunkenness.
Maybe it’s the middle of the night. You hear a loud crash from behind you and to your shock see a car crash inside your living room. Debris is everywhere. Damaging your house. The driver stumbles out of the car, unable to walk on her own properly. It was a girls’ night out at the downtown club, and he had way over her limit. The bartender kept serving her drinks until she got drunk.
Also, in these circumstances, the irresponsible drunk person was the cause of the unfortunate incidents resulting in physical injury or damage to property. However, the establishments were serving alcohol to the visibly drunk individual. And that establishment could also be found at fault too. Under dram shop law, the establishments should stop serving drunk patrons, as he or they could cause harm to other people.
In fact, a Houston dram shop liability lawyer will help you prove that a commercial establishment committing negligence. This is due to repeatedly serving alcohol to a drunk person, resulting in injury or, in tragic cases, wrongful death.
What is the safe harbor defense?
The safe harbor defense allows the provider or commercial establishment to avoid liability if it is able to prove that it was following the requirements of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. These are the following:
(1) The provider attended a training course that is certified by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
(2) The said provider’s employees were able to successfully finish training that was approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
(3) The provider did not force its employees to break the law
If an establishment owner (or the provider) is able to prove that all employees who underwent training are current and duly certified by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and exercising due diligence in reminding the staff of their responsibilities under the dram shop law, then it could avoid liability under the safe harbor defense.
Take, for example, a club that operates in the state of Texas. Its owner ensures properly informing staff about dram shop liability and properly equipping them to handle drunk customers.
All employees go to regular training with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission certification. All training sessions are up to date. The establishment also has to keep updating its manual outlining ways how to identify a drunk individual (such as slurred speech, difficulty in moving on one’s own, bloodshot eyes, the lingering scent of liquor, and other such physical attributes), ways to refuse such individual alcohol, and how to get help and cooperation from authorities if the situation goes out of hand. In such circumstances, the commercial establishment could claim the safe harbor defense if it could clearly establish that it does not have liability under dram shop law.
What should I do if I want to sue an establishment?
If you or someone you love find yourselves in an unfortunate situation involving a drunk person, you might want to look into getting a dram shop liability claim as well. Perhaps it is one of the many drunk driving accidents that occur in the United States of America every day. The first thing you have to do is get in touch with dram shop attorneys.
As a result, victims could suffer from physical injury and might have to take a break from work in order to gain full recovery. Also, your car might need lots of repairs, and you might also have to get medical attention. And that means medical expenses and car repair costs on top of lost wages. You might need future assistance from a caregiver at home. You might lose potential earning opportunities because of your injuries. There are so many things to worry about all because a drunk person got behind the wheel with no one stopping him.
In this situation, it would be best to have a good lawyer on your side. If your attorney finds reasonable cause for the failure of the establishment to stop its customer from consuming too much alcohol. Then you could look into dram shop liability as well. After all, commercial establishments should also conduct their businesses responsibly. If the negligent contributions in their duties were the cause of the accident, then they should also be held responsible.
In fact, a dram shop lawyer could give proper advice and assistance in the investigation of your case. And it ultimately ensures that you proper compensation for your physical injury and that justice will be brought to light.
Nonetheless, a Houston dram shop attorney will help establish your case. Even if you find yourself a third party in a dram shop case in Houston, Texas. Or even in some parts of the state of California.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of drunk driving and are considering a dram shop liability case, then you better go to the experts. The Roxell Richards Injury Law Firm is a professional law firm with more than 17 years of experience handling vehicle accidents.
Call us today at our local phone number (713) 974-0388 or through the toll-free hotline at 1-855-GOT-INJURED. Want to know more about dram shop liability? Call us and get a free consultation!
LEARN YOUR DRAM SHOP LIABILITY RIGHT NOW!
Alcohol-related incidents can have serious consequences. Trust Roxell Richards Injury Law Firm to represent your case in dram shop liability claims. Our attorneys have the expertise to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.
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