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Understanding Dram Shop Liability

When innocent bystanders become injured due to an intoxicated individual’s actions, the victims should not be expected to pay for the damage themselves. Anyone who drinks too much and causes harm to others or destruction to the property of others deserves to be held accountable for the consequences of his or her actions. Additionally, under dram shop liability laws, the individual or business that provided alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or to a minor may be held responsible for the consequences of these parties’ actions in some cases.

The Dram Shop Law

In Texas, a person who has been injured due to the negligent actions of an intoxicated person may be able to seek compensation from the party responsible for serving the alcohol if the victim or his or her representation can prove the following:

  1. The person to whom alcohol was sold, served, or provided was obviously intoxicated to a degree that he or she posed a clear threat to him- or herself or others and that this was or should have been apparent to the provider of the alcohol.
  2. The state of intoxication in which the person to whom alcohol was sold, served, or provided was, at the time of the event, a direct or proximate cause of the accident that led to damage or injury.

These stipulations were written to outline the cause of action for situations in which the intoxicated person was over the age of 18 at the time of the incident. In cases that involve a minor being served alcohol and then causing damage through his or her actions, an adult could be held liable for the resulting damage if he or she:

  • Is not the minor’s parent, guardian, or spouse
  • Was not given responsibility for the child by a court order
  • Knowingly served or provided the alcohol, or allowed the minor to be served any alcohol that contributed to the minor’s state of intoxication on the adult’s owned or leased property

Regardless of whether the drunk individual was of age or not, adults should always act responsibly when dealing with alcohol.

Contact a Dram Shop Liability Claims Attorney

If you have been injured, or if your property has been destroyed by an irresponsible, drunk individual, don’t just pay for the damage yourself. Call the attorneys of the Chris Mayo Law Firm at (210) 899-5440 to learn if your situation qualifies you for legal action.