If you or someone close to you has ever been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may not know about Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Act, which states that restaurants, bars, and other alcohol-serving establishments can be held accountable for the later careless decisions and conduct of customers to whom they have served alcohol. Recently, the surviving relatives of a DUI accident victim filed a lawsuit against five different bars that served the allegedly already drunk man who caused the accident.
The man whose relatives have filed the lawsuit was riding in the same vehicle as the alleged drunk driver at the time of the claimed drunk driving accident. Upon admittance to a local hospital the passenger was in a coma, and he died there several days later.
The driver faces criminal charges that include second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and speeding. According to official reports, he had a blood-alcohol content level almost three times the legal limit. He allegedly went to multiple bars where he was served alcohol, even though he was apparently already visibly intoxicated.
Pennsylvania through its Dram Shop Act recognizes how important it is to hold establishments accountable if they serve alcohol to drivers who become intoxicated and then make irresponsible decisions while operating a vehicle. If you or a loved one have suffered from the negligent actions of a drunk driver, and that driver was served alcohol at restaurants or bars while already intoxicated, then consultation with an attorney may help you to understand your situation and learn more about your legal options.
Source: The Hour, “Fatal DUI accident victim’s family seeks damages from local bars,” Steve Kobak, May 20, 2014