Can A Bar Be Held Liable For A Drunk Driver’s Actions?

Posted on

Drunk driving accidents often result in serious injuries and property damage. Preventing drunk driving accidents is one of the top priorities of law enforcement in Greenville and around South Carolina. However, these incidents happen at alarmingly high rates. 

Understanding a recent case

In 2017, a woman pleaded guilty to felony DUI for the January 2016 death of another man. According to authorities, the man was riding his Honda motorcycle on SE Main Street in Simpsonville when he stopped to turn into a parking lot. That was when the woman, driving a Ford 4S, slammed into the rear of the man’s motorcycle. He was ejected and killed on the scene.  

The man’s estate filed a lawsuit against both the woman and Full House Sporzaria, a sport’s bar in Simpsonville. The lawsuit alleged that the bar “failed to reasonably serve alcohol” to Fuller. The lawsuit said that the woman “miserably failed all field sobriety tests and ultimately registered a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit several hours after the wreck.”

Police testified that her blood-alcohol level was .168, over double the legal limit. 

Many people do not realize that restaurants and bars can be held liable if it is found they irresponsibly serve alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated, who then causes serious injuries or a fatality. 

A jury in the case awarded a massive settlement to the Gibson estate – $2,523,500 in actual damages as well as $5 million in punitive damages. An attorney for the Gibson estate said that this award sends “a firm message from the community on drunk driving.”

Drunk driving accidents are a major concern in South Carolina

According to the state Department of Public Safety, out of the nearly 1,000 total fatalities in traffic crashes during the latest reporting year, 313 of them were the result of alcohol-impaired driving. Each year, approximately 30% of all traffic crash fatalities are related to alcohol-impaired incidents.

Seek help for your case

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the actions of a drunk driver, contact the Dan Pruitt Law Firm today. Our Greenville car accident attorneys are ready to help you through this. Let us investigate what happened so we can secure the compensation you deserve.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.