Holiday Celebrations and North Carolina Dram Shop Laws

As we head out to celebrate the New Year, a recent verdict highlights the liability involved when a bar or restaurant serves alcohol to an intoxicated patron.

A drunk driving car accident in Charlotte two years ago left two motorists severely injured and an unborn child dead — and they’re still suffering today. The conclusion of the suit and the attention on this accident is drawing light to the importance of keeping an eye on how much we drink and how intoxicated those around us are getting. This accident is spotlighting the important of keeping alcohol from customers or guests who have already had far too much!
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In North Carolina, there are specific laws that are designed to keep restaurants and bars from serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons, according to USA TODAY.

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys understand that many are quick to blame the intoxicated drivers who got behind the wheel for this accident. But there’s a line in which the responsibility can be shifted from the drivers to the servers of the alcohol. Dram shop is technical term that is used for any place that serves alcohol and dram shop liability law says that in some cases, these places have a legal responsibility when it comes to serving someone enough alcohol to create a public hazard. This law covers serving an individual too much as well as providing alcohol and serving those who are underage.

The dram shop law extends to social host liability. An adult who hosts a party is also responsible for serving more alcohol to an already drunk person or providing/serving alcohol to anyone who is underage.

It all happened when a 25-year-old male slammed into another vehicle with a male driver and his six-month pregnant wife. Officers say that the intoxicated male driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of more than three times the legal limit. They had just left Eddie’s Place Restaurant and Bar in south Charlotte. Reports indicate that he had at least 10 drinks at that establishment.

Earlier this month, a jury in Charlotte returned a more than $1.5 million verdict against the Restaurant and Bar. The jury found it guilty of serving to someone who they knew or should have known was already intoxicated.

The 32-year-old husband involved in the suit said that he was “disgusted” to find out that the intoxicated driver that hit him had been served the equivalent of close to 20 drinks in 2 hours at that restaurant and bar.

When the accident happened, he and his wife were leaving a drive-up ATM when the intoxicated driver slammed into them. He says there was no time to stop for the tipsy driver. The couple winded up spending over a month in the hospital. The wife lost the baby as well as about 40 percent of her blood. Both of the victims required a number of surgeries and a lot of therapy to heal from their injuries — which hasn’t fully been completed.

Mentally, it was very difficult,” said the victim. “Obviously, it was very challenging physically.”

The car accident lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. are here to offer assistance to those who have been injured or killed in a car accident. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced accident attorney today.

More Blog Entries:

MADD and Asheville Attorneys Working to Protect Victims’ Rights, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 25, 2012

Teen Car Accidents in Charlotte and Elsewhere Likely with Alcohol, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2012

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