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Dram Shop


Georgia’s dram shop statute contains provisions that hold bars and restaurants accountable for injuries caused by drunk drivers who consume alcohol at their establishments and subsequently drive. When a patron at a bar who is under the legal drinking age or who is exhibiting signs of intoxication is served alcohol, the establishment providing the alcohol has potential liability. Georgia’s dram shop statute provides a cause of action to allow accident victims and their families to sue bars, restaurants, pubs and other establishments responsible for serving alcohol to minors or individuals exhibiting visible signs of intoxication who will soon be driving.

Establishments serving alcohol and their employees must act responsibly and owe a duty to the public to do their part to prevent accidents caused by drunk drivers. The public policy underlying the statute recognizes that restaurants and their employees are in a position to determine whether a patron has had too much before serving them another drink. Bar and restaurant owners and servers are required to serve alcohol to patrons in a reasonable and safe manner. Many alcohol-related accidents could be prevented if those serving alcohol exercised caution when serving patrons consuming alcohol. This requires proper training and supervision of waiters and bartenders responsible for alcohol service which includes counting drinks and watching patrons, protecting the public at large.

Call The Lawyers At Coleman, Chambers & Rogers, LLP, Who Are Ready To Assist You At 678-601-2495

When a bar, restaurant or establishment serves too much alcohol to a patron who later drives an automobile and injures or kills another in an accident, the bar, restaurant or establishment, in addition to the drunk driver, can be sued. At Coleman, Chambers & Rogers, LLP, we have experience navigating Georgia’s dram shop laws and understand the intricacies of a complex dram shop case.

Many times, more than one insurance policy will cover an accident, and more than one carrier has liability for the injuries. In one wrongful death case, we convinced the tort carrier to tender the full limits of its one million dollar ($1,000,000) commercial motor vehicle liability policy early in the litigation. After payment of that sum to the decedent’s widow, we continued to pursue the insurance company that issued an umbrella policy to the driver’s employer and the U/M carrier of the deceased for additional damages as a result of the death of our client’s husband.

In one case, we sued a national restaurant chain, alleging that it was liable (violated Georgia’s dram shop statute) after one of its patrons was served and consumed enough alcohol to cause him to be more than two times over Georgia’s legal limit for driving, and was then involved in an automobile accident that killed an innocent motorist. There, we pursued the driver of the vehicle, his employer and the bar on behalf of the victim’s widow, seeking to hold the national restaurant chain liable under Georgia’s Dram shop statute.

Don’t suffer for someone’s negligence

If you or your family member has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and, perhaps, punitive damages. If you believe the drunk driver at fault in your accident was over-served, please contact the dram shop attorneys at Coleman, Chambers & Rogers, LLP, for an initial consultation at our Gainesville office. Call 678-601-2495.