Bar Owners Could Be Liable in Drunk Driving Crashes

Amanda Davis, a well-known news anchor for Fox in Atlanta, was arrested recently for driving while under the influence of alcohol after she ended up in a collision. The driver of the car she hit, David Jarman, was taken for treatment to Grady Memorial Hospital following the incident. This case may at first glance appear to be a standard drunk driving car accident. However, the Dram Shop Act adds a new dimension of liability.

The case is still in its earliest stages and as such, it is unclear whether or not Mr. Jarman will in fact be suing for damages resulting from the head on collision. However, should he and his attorney choose to pursue such action, the Dram Shop Act potentially holds the bar owner liable for serving Ms. Davis. Under the act, bar owners and employees have a legal responsibility to cut off any patrons who appear visibly drunk. If they continue to serve a patron when it is clear that person is intoxicated, the bar owner puts the patron and the public at risk. Fault for any injuries from car accidents or fights resulting from that patron being served while visibly intoxicated can then be blamed on the bar owner.

If you are the victim of a drunk driver, Georgia law does allow you to sue for damages, and if it can be proven that the bartender knowingly served additional alcohol to the person who slammed into you, that person can be named as well. As a result, a number of bars in Georgia have begun to carry additional liability insurance to protect them in the event they are sued under the act. Your attorney can advise you further on your rights and your ability to file suit for any injuries you sustained.

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Attorneys Dan Jason and Claire Bradley Jason are Military Veterans with a combined 16 years on active duty as Captains and Judge Advocates in the United States Army. Dan served at several military installations, including as Trial Defense Counsel with the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, South Korea; and Group Judge Advocate with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, Ft. Gillem, GA. Claire is an Operation Desert Storm Combat Veteran and served in a host of other installations. After moving into the Reserves, both attained the ranks of Major before their honorable discharges in 2002. Dan and Claire received several awards for their military service.

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