Drunk Drivers – Are Bars and Party Hosts Responsible

You know the devastation wrought by drunken drivers on our roads to innocent people. When it comes to paying the costs; medical expenses, pain, lost work, and death; the drinking driver often can make little restitution as he has little or no insurance. A large number of drivers have minimal or no insurance leaving no source of compensation.

Only with the dram shop statutes can a claim be made against a business that served alcohol to the drunken driver. But one must prove that the server observed the drinker was visibly intoxicated and was aware that the drinker was soon going to drive. Recently, a Georgia Court found that this rule may be applied to Delta Air Lines when alcohol was served in flight.

If a server is reasonably aware that a minor will be driving, he can be liable for money damages regardless of any appearance of intoxication.

A social server of alcohol, such as a home dinner party host, may be liable under this law, although it must be shown the homeowner gave consent for the consumption. In other words, the homeowner generally cannot be responsible if parents are away unknowing that their children or their friends or even other parents are providing alcohol at the house.

The information provided in this summary is general and for information only and does not constitute legal advice for any particular situation of facts and circumstances. If you have need of legal advice, please consult an attorney for your specific questions.