The Times Records News ran an article this morning, Sept. 30 2015, titled “Local Bars, stores cited by the TABC.” TABC is the state agency that regulates and monitors servers and sellers of alcohol beverages. In the article, the Times Record noted:
- 1 of the violations involved over-serving alcohol and continuing to sell alcohol to an already intoxicated person;
- 2 involved intoxicated employees serving alcohol in the bar; Lastly,
- 5 from selling alcohol to a minor.
The article goes on to explain the bars and stores were only fined for these violations and permitted to continue on with business as usual.
What do all these violations have in common? All participates more than likely drove a vehicle to the bar or their place of employment. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “in 2013, 10,076 people were killed and approximately 290,000 were injured. Each crash, each death, each injury impacts not only the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more. Even those who have not been directly touched help pay the $132 billion yearly price tag of drunk driving.”
Why inform you of something you may already know? Did you know under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) code, bars and stores, who serve or sale alcohol beverages, can be held responsible for damages caused by an intoxicated person? The term sometimes used to describe this type of case is Dram Shop.
Unfortunately, we see cases like this all the time. We currently have three cases in our office in which bars have overserved an intoxicated person that drove and killed our clients and caused brain damage to another. In all these cases, the “drunk driver” had no insurance or had the state minimum of $30,000.00; not enough to cover our client’s damages.
What to be aware of is TABC can fine offenders and suspended their licenses to sell alcohol, but they cannot recover for you under the TABC code. They are diligent in investigating cases in which a “drunk driver” caused serious injuries. However, if you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver and you have information that the driver was served at a bar or store, we recommend that you contact the TABC.
The majority of people do not know their rights under the TABC code. If you or a loved one has been affected by a Drunk Driver and you think the driver may have been over-served, please contact our firm at (940) 569-4000. We will discuss and explore all of your possible avenues of recovery.