Bars and taverns are oftentimes the watering-holes responsible for putting drunk drivers on the road. Of course, the drunk driver always has responsibility for drinking to the point of intoxication. But depending on how irresponsible these bars are, a single bar may be partially responsible for causing dozens of drunk driving injury crashes per year.
Unfortunately, individuals who choose to drive drunk are usually financially irresponsible in purchasing car insurance. Consequently, the injured victims of these drunk drivers often discover that the drunk driver has little or no insurance money to compensate them for their injuries and losses. In these cases, the injured victims must look elsewhere for compensation.
If you are injured by a drunk driver, you may have a claim against the bar that supplied the alcohol to the driver. Claims against bars and taverns are called dram-shop claims. It should be noted that these claims are the exception rather than the rule. To prevail on these claims, the injured victim must prove that the bar served the drunk driver alcohol after the driver became visibly intoxicated. The injured party cannot merely show that the at-fault driver became intoxicated at the bar. Instead, the plaintiff must show that the bar continued to ply the driver with alcohol even after he became visibly intoxicated.
We call dram-shop claims “hidden claims” because the drunk driver usually invokes his right to remain silent in the criminal investigation. Thus, any potential claim against the bar remains hidden unless the drunk driver identifies the name of the bar where he was served alcohol. This information has to be discovered within a year of the crash because you only have a year to bring a claim against the bar before the statute of limitations expires. If the victim does not file a lawsuit in a court of competent jurisdiction against the bar within a year of the collision, the bar will never be held liable for the harm it caused.
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! Here is a perfect example of drunk driving consequences: Protecting Yourself Against Drunk Drivers Like Ever Olivos-Gutierrez
If you are severely injured in a crash by a drunk driver, you may have a claim against the bar who served alcohol to that driver. However, unless your attorney works quickly to uncover the “hidden” dram-shop claim, you may lose your ability to seek compensation from that bar. At Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn, we understand the importance of exploring the hidden claims of a case when appropriate. Call our experienced accident attorneys today for a free personal injury consultation.
Useful Drunk Driving Accident Injury Articles from Our Denver Personal Injury Blog:
Colorado DUI accidents often cause more damage then other auto wrecks because the intoxicated driver may be speeding and more unaware of his or her
surroundings. As a result, both judges and lawmakers here in Colorado have noted that driving is a statutory privilege and not a right to denote how
serious they are about the penalties involved in drunk driving and how permissive testing can be.
In three separate Court decisions delivered recently, the state supreme court strengthened the jurisprudence regarding both expressed consent as well as the ability for law enforcement to take blood in order to perform alcohol testing on drivers suspected of driving under the influence. Continue Reading...
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the threshold that affects charges involving drunk driving accidents and in all 50 states, the minimum is .08%. However,
a landmark law could change that in neighboring Utah and it is unclear what effect, if any, it will have on Colorado DUI accidents.
The Utah Proposal to Curb DUI Accidents
The .08% national maximum is meant to dissuade people from risking a DUI accident in the first place. It's roughly the amount of two drinks in an hour for a man and somewhat less for a woman. Advocates against the Utah law argue that it would put a chilling effect on tourism and the hospitality industry. Continue Reading...
Up until now, Colorado has been one of the more lenient states when it comes to punishing those convicted of multiple DUIs. Our Colorado Legislature has been very slow to react to the growing public intolerance of repeat DUI offenders. In fact, it was reported last year that Colorado was only one of four remaining states where a third DUI conviction was not a felony. In Colorado, the only way a person can get a jail sentence in excess of a year is if they are charged with a felony. Arapahoe County District Attorney, George Brauchler, recently reported how surprisingly difficult it truly is to impose a significant jail sentence on a misdemeanor drunk driver. Continue Reading...
Earlier this month, Judge Paul King sentenced a mother who pled guilty to a host of charges, including felony DUI vehicular assault, to a 4 year prison sentence. At nearly twice the posted speed limit, Kelly Carrothers, crashed into a line of parents waiting to pick their children up from school. Four other cars were involved in the collision. One victim sustained a serious closed head injury and lost an eye. Ms. Carrother’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when measured 90 minutes after the crash. Furthermore, Ms. Carrothers admitted that she left her 18 month old child at home alone to pick up her other child from school. Continue Reading...
The numbers don't lie...We hear about the downing of a Malaysian Airliner and justifiably think about the tragic loss of 227 passengers. We recall the tragic events of 9/11 and the death of just under 3000 innocent victims. We feel safer as a society when we hear that Pennsylvanian prosecutors intend to seek life in prison for the 16 year old that brought a knife to school and arbitrarily slashed his schoolmates injuring twenty one students and one security guard before being wrestled to the ground by a heroic teacher.
Yet, as awful as these events are, every 30 minutes in the United States someone is killed due to a drunk driver. That amounts to 48 deaths per day and 17,520 deaths per year. While innocent victims' deaths at the hands of terrorists or emotionally disturbed school children capture the headlines, the death toll from drunk driving car crashes generally gets little, if any, media attention and certainly doesn't cause public outcry for action. Continue Reading...