A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed by a personal injury attorney as the result of a drunken driving accident that caused the death of a motorcyclist Northwest of San Antonio. The passenger on the motorcycle was killed and its driver was seriously injured when they were struck from behind by an allegedly drunk driver.
The driver of the pick-up that struck the motorcycle was charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. According to the troopers reports the alleged drunk driver’s alcohol level was 0.19. The legal limit is 0.08.
The author of this article has hired numerous experts in intoxication fatalities and dram shop cases and most experts believe that everyone is severely and obviously intoxicated at 0.16, and some believe the obviousness cannot be hidden at even lower levels. Therefore, the lawyer that filed this case against the establishment that served the alcohol will probably be able to show that the driver was “obviously intoxicated” and should not have been served alcohol. In defending the saloon that served the drunk driver it may be argued that the driver’s past alcohol abuse, as indicated by his prior DWI, gave him a high tolerance to alcohol and therefore, he was not “obviously intoxicated”. Expert toxicologist or others experienced in the effects of alcohol are very often hired by experienced personal injury lawyers to explain the science of alcohol absorption rates and the effect of alcohol on reaction time.
Bringing a lawsuit against the drunk driver and the bar or saloon that served the alcohol serves many purposes. One is to compensate the family of the deceased for their loss. Another possibly greater good is to make businesses aware that they can be held liable if they over serve their patrons alcohol. The dram-shop laws do not make the businesses liable every time one of their drunken customers injures someone. They are only liable if they serve an “obviously intoxicated” patron. When a customer is very intoxicated the business must refuse to serve any additional alcohol or risk a lawsuit. It is not legally required that they call a cab or take away the person’s keys; even though that may be the right thing to do.