Key FAQs Georgians Should Know about Intoxicated Driving Accident Claims


March 22, 2018

As the summer approaches, there will be many parties to celebrate graduations and some of the biggest holidays of the year. One of the legal issues that arises this time of year is Social Host and Dram Shop Liability. If you teenage driver is has been injured or killed in an alcohol-related accident, we invite you to contact our Atlanta personal injury attorneys for your free consultation. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and advise you of your legal rights and remedies under Georgia's Dram Shop Act.

Can I sue a social host who served alcohol to the other driver if the other driver lacks insurance?

States handle the issue of liability of a social hosts in different ways.  Many states have separate statutes for dram shop liability and social host liability while other states do not recognize either dram shop or social host liability.  Georgia combines both types of liability into a single statute.  A social host can be liable for furnishing alcohol to someone that the host has reason to know will be driving soon if the person served is a minor or “noticeably intoxicated”.  While the owner of a home can be liable for furnishing alcohol to a minor or a noticeably intoxicated driver, the owner of the property must be present and consent to be liable.

How does dram shop liability differ from social host liability?

Georgia’s Dram Shop Act imposes liability on businesses like bar, restaurants and other establishments or individuals that furnish, sell or serve alcohol to patrons that are noticeably intoxicated or under 21.  A major difference between these two forms of liability is that there is no requirement that a business licensed to sell alcohol be present and consent to the furnishing or sell of alcohol.

How is social host and dram shop liability impacted if a minor uses a fake ID to procure alcohol?

O.C.G.A. Section 51-1-40 provides a defense to businesses and social hosts that serve alcohol when the driver who causes injury or a wrongful death provides a proper form of ID.  If the underage drinker tenders proper identification, it provides rebuttable proof that the alcohol was not sold or served to the underage drinker knowingly, willfully or unlawfully.

Can a social host or business that serves or sells alcohol to my underage child be subject to a wrongful death or personal injury claim if my child was the intoxicated driver?

While some states permit lawsuits to be brought by an underage driver involved in a collision, Georgia does not permit underage drunk drivers to pursue personal injury claims based on dram shop or social host liability.  Parents also cannot pursue a wrongful death claim based on dram shop or social host liability in Georgia.

Why is the applicability of Georgia’s Dram Shop Act so important?

If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver, the driver may not have adequate insurance coverage.  Since many drunk drivers who cause accidents are repeat offenders, there is a reasonably high probability that a drunk driver will not have a valid driver’s license or insurance.  In this situation, the insurance of a social host or business that serves alcohol might provide the best chance for you to obtain a full recovery.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 34 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Traffic Accident Injury Lawyer in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-four 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 www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-51/chapter-1/51-1-40

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333    

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
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.