Bride Killed By Drunk Driver On Wedding Day
Any wedding should be a happy and joyous event with friends and family. In April of 2023, a drunk driver crashed into a golf cart type of vehicle carrying a bride and groom. The bride died in the crash. The groom and another passenger on the cart were also seriously injured.
The initial investigation found the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .261%. This is over 3 times the legal limit. Further investigation found at least 5 bars and restaurants had served alcohol to the drunk driver on the evening of the crash.
Speed was also a factor in this crash. The drunk driver was also speeding 65mph in a 25mph zone when she crashed into the cart carrying the newlyweds. The cart itself was thrown 100 feet from the force of the impact.
What Happened To The Drunk Driver?
When the investigation revealed the driver was extremely drunk and speeding she was arrested and held in prison until her criminal trial. If convicted, she could face up to 25 years in prison. There is also a wrongful death case against the drunk driver and several bars that overserved her alcohol on the night of the crash.
How Are Bars Responsible For This Crash?
But, how could a bar – or bars – be responsible for this crash? It’s a fair question that many people don’t consider the answer to until they hear it. Bars are a business. The income for the business is to sell alcoholic drinks to customers. When bars sell so many drinks to a customer that the customer becomes drunk, the bar creates a public safety problem.
In fact, many states have laws against a licensed establishment serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Penalties for breaking these laws can range from fines to a loss of the license to serve alcohol. Additionally, several states allow civil lawsuits against establishments that over-serve alcohol to a visibly drunk person. In several states, dram shop laws state any establishment that gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can be legally held responsible for injuries and damages that person might cause. Some states extend this legal responsibility to social/party hosts that provide alcohol at parties or gatherings.
The main concern of dram shop laws is to prevent drunk driving crashes that hurt innocent people. For bars and restaurants, drunk driving crashes are foreseeable and preventable. Learn more about dram shop lawsuits.
Foreseeable And Preventable Harm
In personal injury cases, we use the phrase “foreseeable and preventable harm” to help explain how the negligence of one party can be the direct cause of harm to someone else. When a bar serves too much alcohol to a person, it is foreseeable to think that person will try to drive home. Therefore from the role of a bar providing alcohol, a drunk driving crash could be preventable. The horrible experience described above was foreseeable and preventable. But the bars involved continued to serve alcohol to this visibly drunk woman before she got behind the wheel.
Dram Shop Liability Lawsuits
Dram shop liability lawsuits are typically brought on by people harmed by a drunk driver. This could be a person directly injured by a drunk driver or the surviving family of someone killed by a drunk driver. Dram shop lawsuits are intended to compensate innocent victims of drunk drivers. A drunk driver is specifically prevented from suing a bar in this kind of situation.
If you have questions about your situation, talk to an attorney with dram shop experience. An attorney at Kane & Silverman can help you understand your rights and file a claim on your behalf if eligible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.