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What Is Georgia’s Dram Shop Liability Law?

What Is Georgia’s Dram Shop Liability Law?

A drunk driver plows through a red light and crashes into your vehicle. You suffer injuries and it is easily apparent who is responsible for your damages. However, did you know that there may be more than one party against whom you can file a lawsuit?

Not all drunk driving accident claims are cut and dry. Sometimes, it goes beyond just the drunk driver when determining liability. This is where Georgia’s dram shop liability statute comes into play, potentially holding bars and establishments accountable for their contribution to a crash.

Understanding Georgia Code Section 51-1-40

According to Georgia law, a bar, restaurant, convenience store, or other establishment can be considered a liable party in a drunk driving accident case should they do any of the following actions:

  • Unlawfully serve alcohol to a minor when they know that the individual is under the age of 21
  • Knowingly serve alcohol to a patron in the establishment who is already visibly intoxicated
  • And continue to serve the minor or visibly intoxicated individual when they know he or she will be operating a motor vehicle upon leaving the establishment

For example, if a person stops at a bar for a drink on the way home and after a few drinks, exhibits signs of intoxication. The person gets ready to leave, has their keys in their hand, and goes for one more drink. The bartender serves the intoxicated individual. If that driver causes injuries in a car accident caused by the intoxication, the bartender may also be held liable.

Similarly, Georgia holds social hosts liable for serving alcohol to a minor or noticeably intoxicated individual and allows them to leave, causing injuries to another driver in a drunk driving accident.

It’s important to note that dram shop cases are held in addition to your civil action against the drunk driver. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving crash where these circumstances exist, you can file lawsuits against both the drunk driver and the establishment responsible for serving them beyond intoxication.

Choose Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Who Know the Laws

At Kalka & Baer, we have a firm understanding of Georgia laws and the available parties against whom you may file a lawsuit. We work with you to help you understand your rights and guide you throughout the process with your best interests in mind.

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys can explain all options available to you and help make the decisions to best serve your needs for compensation.

Call our firm today at (404) 907-1594 and discuss your rights with our team.

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