Can an Establishment Be Held Responsible For Your Auto Accident?
Auto accidents can happen for many reasons. Most commonly, the cause is driver distractions, including drunken driving.
In personal injury cases, suing a negligent driver is fairly straight forward. Yet, when the driver is drunk, other elements come into play. For example, if the driver is a minor, the person or business that served the minor can be held accountable. There is also a zero tolerance policy in the state of Florida when it comes to minors who may be driving intoxicated. Any driver under 21 years of age who is stopped by law enforcement and has a breath or blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their driving privilege suspended for 6 months. This is an administrative suspension and does not reflect as a DUI on the driver’s record. If the driver refuses to take a test, their driving privilege is automatically suspended for one year.
When a driver is an adult, it is much tougher to blame an establishment. If the driver was drinking at a business, the injured party must prove that the establishment knew the driver was a habitual drunk. This can be done in a variety of ways, including the frequency that the driver comes to the business and his/her drinking habits.
As odd as it sounds, a person can be a first-time customer of a bar or restaurant, have too many drinks, drive away to hurt someone, and the establishment can still be blamed. But this is only if the establishment knew the customer was a habitual drunk. That is why it is important to hire an attorney who is well versed in this area of the law and knows how to properly pursue a case where an establishment serves too many drinks to a customer who later causes harm to another.