Authorities report that a Douglas County bar and strip club has been held liable for the death of a 22-year-old woman in a drunk-driving crash. The crash occurred in July of 2008 when a Mableton man was driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.398, which is five times the legal limit in Georgia of 0.08.
After a night of drinking at a DeKalb bar called Club Blaze, the man drove the wrong way down I-20 and ran head-on into a vehicle driven by the 22-year-old woman. The accident happened over the Fourth of July weekend, around 2am. The passenger in the woman’s car died on the way to the hospital and another passenger in that car was badly injured but survived. The 41-year-old drunk-driver was also killed in the DUI crash.
Club Blaze at Fault
The bar was held liable for serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person who was then permitted to drive and caused a fatal accident. The police reported that they did not know how many drinks the man had, but that he must have been noticeably intoxicated, given his blood-alcohol level.
If the driver had survived, it is likely he would have been charged with vehicular homicide for causing afatality while driving under the influence of alcohol.
Club Blaze was ordered by a jury to pay $1.75 million to the family of the young mother who was killed. The children who survived her are now 4 and 5. The children’s grandmother said that the money would be put into a college fund for her late daughter’s children so that they could reach their potential in life.
Georgia Dram Shop Laws
Under Georgia dram shop laws, the supplier of alcohol (restaurant, bar, liquor store, etc) may be held legally accountable (liable) for injuries caused by a customer to a third party, if the supplier “knowingly sells, furnishes or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a noticeable state of intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle.” It was this law that forced Club Blaze to be held accountable for the young mother’s death. It is the responsibility of liquor-serving establishments to thoroughly train employees to recognize and react properly to intoxicated patrons, so that devastating accidents like this one can be avoided.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or have experienced the tragic death of a loved one, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation. We work tirelessly for our clients to not only maximize their claim, but to also help them put their lives back together.