Employer Liability for Alcohol Related Accidents Following Company Holiday Parties


December 07, 2010

The holiday season is here and many companies have holiday parties. These celebrations can have a much darker side because they may end in employees leaving the function and driving home even though their driving ability is impaired by excessive alcohol consumption. Almost 12,000 people are killed in fatal alcohol related auto accidents each year.

Sadly, a business can avoid having a holiday party turn into a tragic accident by taking steps to ensure responsible behavior such as providing designated drivers or transportation for employees who drink at the function. Unfortunately, many companies make no effort to prevent such unnecessary auto accidents. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing auto accident victims seriously injured or killed by drunk drivers in Atlanta and throughout ALL of Georgia for over 25 years.

Georgia's Dram Shop Law imposes liability on a "social host" like an employer who serves alcohol to a driver that later injures another in an auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. The Georgia Dram Shop Law imposes liability on an employer at a holiday party that serves alcohol to anyone who is underage (i.e. under 21) or who is served alcohol in a "noticeable state of intoxication" despite the server's knowledge that the person will soon be driving. The Georgia Dram Shop Law is designed to encourage responsible behavior by those serving alcohol, including those doing so in a social function. Because alcohol is a significant factor in as many as one in three accident related fatalities, the law is designed to encourage responsible behavior by those in a position to restrict access to those who might be inclined to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Georgia and other states have enacted a number of laws to reduce DUI related auto accidents and fatalities including the Dram Shop Laws. The increasing legal restrictions and laws imposing liability for alcohol related fatal auto accidents has resulted in a reduction in alcohol related fatalities of over 25% during the last couple decades. Nevertheless, alcohol still remains a leading cause of auto accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities.

Georgia courts have found that all that is necessary to impose liability on a social host, such as a company during a holiday party, is that the employer knew or should have known that the employee was intoxicated. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we routinely represent victims of auto accidents involving drunk drivers. We will investigate so that we can determine all possible responsible parties including employers serving alcohol to employees during this holiday season. A holiday celebration for employees should never be permitted to destroy the holiday season for another family because of a lack of responsible behavior at the social function.

The Georgia car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing victims injured in auto accidents in Atlanta and throughout ALL of Georgia for over 25 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.