Dram shop liability houston

When a car wreck involves a drunk driver, it is usually obvious the drunk behind the wheel will be the one at fault. However, many people don’t know that anyone who serves or sells alcoholic drinks can also be liable under Texas’ Dram Shop law. The purpose of this law is to protect the general public from the hazards of serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated persons. When bars, liquor stores, and servers violate the law and sell alcohol to an intoxicated person, the consequences can be serious or even fatal.

At Hernandez Sunosky, LLP, our top-rated dram shop liability lawyers represent people injured in accidents involving intoxicated persons.

What Is A Texas Dram Shop Case?

The term “dram” refers to a unit of alcohol measurement that was used long ago. Thus, a “dram shop” is any place that sells alcohol, such as a bar, restaurant, or club.

Texas has a specific statute that governs the liability of establishments with respect to the service of alcohol under certain situations. These laws govern what’s known as dram shop liability and may allow an injured party to hold a restaurant, bar, or club responsible for injuries or death caused by the service of alcohol.

Texas Laws Regarding Dram Shop

The Texas Dram Shop Act is contained in the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Code. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Chapter 2 provides that those who sell alcohol may be held liable for an injury if:

  • the alcohol was sold or given to a minor under the age of 18, or
  • when the alcohol was sold, the customer was “obviously intoxicated” to the point that he or she posed “a clear danger” to the safety of himself and others, and
  • the intoxication was a “proximate,” or foreseeable, cause of the injuries suffered.

The term “obvious intoxication” shouldn’t be confused with “legal intoxication.” 

Texas law states that anyone aged 21 years or older with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher is considered “legally intoxicated.”  However, a person can be legally intoxicated without being obviously intoxicated as required by the Texas Dram Shop Act. Proving obvious intoxication is complex and can be difficult.  Types of evidence such as the amount of alcohol consumed, rate of consumption, physical appearance, and behavior, among others, can help establish the service of alcohol to an “obviously intoxicated” person.   

The experienced Houston Dram Shop Liability Lawyers at Hernandez Sunosky, LLP will fully investigate the circumstances and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. 

Who Is Liable In A Dram Shop Case?

If you’re injured in an accident involving an intoxicated person, you can bring a personal injury claim against the intoxicated person or the business or other third party that provided the alcohol to the intoxicated person.

Contact A Houston, TX Dram Shop Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident, and the responsible party was intoxicated, contact Hernandez Sunosky, LLP at 713.981.4100 for a free, no-obligation consultation with our Houston, TX injury lawyers.  We can conduct an investigation to determine if the responsible party was served alcohol by a bar or other third party. We work only on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we win for you.