Are You Familiar with “Dram Shop” Laws?

An area nightclub is being sued by the family of a Dallas Cowboys practice squad player who was killed in a drunken-driving crash that happened last December.

The family of deceased player Jerry Brown has filed suit against Beamers Private Club of Dallas. The lawsuit alleges that Beamer’s Private Club served “large sums of alcohol” to Josh Brent, the former Cowboys player who was driving that night in December.

Police in the Dallas suburb of Irving say that Brent was driving with a blood-alcohol level at twice the legal limit 0.08 percent. The suit claims that because of Texas “dram shop” laws, the club is liable in the death of Jerry Brown, and is seeking compensation for wrongful death and other damages.

Brent is expected to be tried in January on the charges of intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter.

It’s easy to get carried away during the holiday season and perhaps drink too much. Even though alcohol seems to flow more freely during this time of year, drinking and driving can never be considered an acceptable way to enjoy the season. The State of Texas considers the issue of drunk driving to be very serious crime. Drunk driving in the United States is the leading cause of fatal car accidents every year. Strict sentences are handed out to those who do decide to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

In the state of Texas, the law known as the Texas Dram Shop Act, Section 2.02 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, allows both injured plaintiffs and their families to bring lawsuits against liquor establishments that contributed to accidents such as drunk driving.

In an establishment that sells or serves alcohol under authority of a liquor license, or any individual who sells an alcoholic drink, under the Dram Shop Act, that business can be sued for damages arising from over-serving intoxicating drink to a patron.

In this particular case, it will probably not be difficult to prove that the DUI driver was served enough alcohol by the establishment that later caused harm or death. Also, in this case, the Texas Dram Shop Act in no way limits the ability of an injured party or their survivors to also file suit against the DUI driver who was responsible.

If you or someone you love has been injured or tragically killed by the actions a drunk driver, or you suspect that you may have a case through the Texas Dram Shop Act, give us a call. Having an experienced attorney on your side in the Dallas Fort Worth area is important. Our team of attorneys will help see that justice is served and that you and your loved ones are given compensation for your medical expenses, on-going long-term care costs, funeral expenses or wrongful death, pain and suffering.

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