Despite the enormous threat to the safety of motorists on Georgia roadways, far too many people continue to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While 300,000 people drive drunk every day in the U.S., a mere 3,200 of these drivers are arrested according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These drunk drivers claim the lives of 127 people a day and cause injury to many more. Victims of drunk drivers often consider a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the intoxicated motorist. This approach might not result in financial compensation or justice, so our experienced Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers discuss the situations where a DUI accident victim can pursue a claim for damages against the bar or restaurant that provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.

When a drunk motorist causes a crash, there are factors that impact the feasibility of a lawsuit against the alcohol-impaired driver. Drunk motorists that cause car accidents can be liable for punitive damages that are designed to discourage and punish particularly egregious behavior. While the ability to obtain punitive damages can increase the potential recovery in a personal injury settlement or verdict, drivers who commit DUI frequently lack a driver’s license, so they also are often uninsured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that a third of all motorists arrested for DUI/DWI are repeat offenders, so they are highly likely to have a suspended or revoked license. Further, a study cited by the MADD website reports that 50-75 percent of drunk drivers continue to drive after their license has been suspended. Although a car accident victim can still pursue a personal injury recovery against the personal assets of a drunk driver, an injury victim can be far from certain that the DUI offender will have personal assets against which a judgment or settlement can be enforced.

A drunk driver might be “judgment proof,” which means he or she has no insurance or assets that can be used to satisfy a recovery. Our Atlanta drunk driving accident injury lawyers explore all avenues of recovery in such situations, including, in the appropriate case, liability against the business that served the driver. The liability of a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol to a driver will be based on the Georgia DRAM shop law. This law specifies the circumstances under which a business that serves alcohol to a driver who causes personal injury or wrongful death in a car accident can be liable in a personal injury claim.

Under the Georgia DRAM shop law, the sellers of alcohol can be held financially responsible when they willfully serve alcohol to a customer in noticeable intoxication, who will soon be driving. The law applies to vendors such as liquor stores, restaurants, and hotels, but the statute covers only two situations.

Visibility Intoxicated Person: The commercial establishment like those indicated above serves alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated and likely to drive.

Minors: Businesses that serve alcohol to a minor (under 21), who subsequently causes a motor vehicle collision, can be held financially responsible. (Note: A social host can also be liable for damages for the injuries or death of a third-party if the defendant knowingly serves alcohol to a minor with knowledge the minor intends to operate a motor vehicle.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, our experienced Atlanta drunk driving injury lawyers diligently pursue the fullest recovery for our clients under the law.

Put Montlick & Associates’ Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!

If you or someone close to you is injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours