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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4500
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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My 21 yr old daughter went to a local pub & grill with a couple

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My 21 yr old daughter went to a local pub & grill with a couple of friends Friday night. When she got there she found that a girl she used to work with now works there. She ordered a drink and the friend brought it to her and didn't charge her. Several hours later, she left with her two friends and was involved in an automobile wreck (that was her fault). She hit someone from behind and when the police arrived, they arrested her for a DWI. She blew a .20. I found out that this friend continued to give her drinks and never charged her for a single drink. The employee of this establishment continued to serve her knowing she was intoxicated and then allowed her to leave the pub.
What liability does a place like this have in continuing to serve an intoxicated person in which an accident and arrest happened minutes later.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 5 years ago.

From the standpoint of your daughter's criminal case, the pub's actions do not affect her case at all. The fact that she was served does not absolve her of criminal liability for accepting the drinks and driving.

In terms of civil liability, Texas does have a Dram Shop law, which holds bars liable for serving a clearly intoxicated person. However, that statute is generally the basis for lawsuits brought by individuals injured by the intoxicated person, not the intoxicated person themselves.

As you were advised, contacting the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to report the practices of the pub is likely your only recourse. It may jeopardize the pub's liquor license.

But ultimately, the legal responsibility for the drinking and driving lies with your daughter as it was voluntarily consumed on her part.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I appreciate your information. I guess I was not very clear in my question. I know she is completely responsible for her actions and the DWI. My question is really along the line that they served her, she was involved in the wreck, her car was totaled, she had some minor injuries. What civil liability, if any, would the pub have in that I will be loosing money on the situation. The car is in my name with her as co borrower and the insurance will not be paying it off in its entirety as well as medical bills she has incurred
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 5 years ago.
As I said above, the dram shop law usually only cover the person injured by the intoxicated person, not the intoxicated person themselves. A couple of courts in other states have ruled that drunk drivers can sue under dram shop laws, but for the most part dram shop laws overwhelmingly disfavor this type of lawsuit because the drunk driver is primarily liable (even when the person injured by the drunk driver sues--the driver is primarily liable and the bar is only liable to a small extent). You can try consulting with a civil attorney (many do free initial consultations) but it is very unlikely that you'd be able to be successful in a lawsuit because the primary legal responsibility for the accident is your daughter's.
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