Dram Shop Cases

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Houston Dram Shop Case Lawyers

Social Host Liability Lawsuits in Houston, TX

When an alcohol vendor overserves a drunk guest or social host overserves a minor, and that intoxicated guest later causes a drunk driving accident, Texas dram shop laws might pass some liability for that accident to the vendor or host. The dram shop laws in Texas are complicated and related cases are hotly contested by the defendants, who will disagree with any statement that makes them liable for the actions of a drunk driver.

If you have any questions or concerns about starting a dram shop case, call (713) 715-5000 right away to speak with a Houston dram shop law attorney from The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm can provide legal counsel from start to finish, so you don’t need to worry about shopping or hopping between law offices.

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What is Texas Dram Shop Law?

Texas dram shop applies to any party that is licensed or permitted to sell, serve, or provide alcohol to another person. Typically, this law refers to alcohol vendors.

Common types of alcohol vendors include:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Stadiums

Under the dram shop law, an alcohol vendor can be held liable if it sold or provided alcohol to a patron or guest who was “obviously intoxicated” and who was posing a “clear danger” to themselves or others, and that intoxicated person later caused an accident. In most cases, drunk driving accidents are the topic of dram shop lawsuits. However, they can technically consider any type of accident, such as a drunk patron accidentally knocking another patron down a flight of stairs at a bar.

What Does Obviously Intoxicated Mean?

Filing a dram shop lawsuit can be complicated for many reasons, including the challenge that occurs when trying to prove that someone was “obviously intoxicated.” There is room in this definition for interpretation. For example, is someone obviously intoxicated if they are slurring their words, or only if they are falling over when trying to walk? By hiring our Houston dram shop law attorneys to help with your case, you can put us in charge of building an argument that proves the person who hurt you was obviously intoxicated.

Evidence that might help us build our case against the bar or vendor that sold alcohol to the obviously intoxicated person could include:

  • Eyewitness statements from other patrons.
  • Closed-circuit security camera footage.
  • Reports from EMTs about the person’s intoxication levels.
  • Bar tabs that show how many drinks the person was sold before being cut off.

What is Texas Social Host Liability Law?

The Texas social host liability law is similar to the dram shop law but it applies to adults who provide alcohol at parties and social gatherings. Under this law, a social host can be held liable for the harm caused by an intoxicated guest under certain circumstances.

Social host liability law can apply if the host:

  • Provided alcohol to a minor younger than 18 years old.
  • Is 21 years of age or older.
  • Is not the minor’s parent or custodian.
  • Provides the alcohol to the minor that contributed to their intoxication.

For example, an adult gives alcohol to a teenager at a neighborhood block party, knowing that the teenager would drink it. The intoxicated teenager leaves the party in their vehicle and causes a drunk driving accident. Anyone injured in that accident could use Texas social host liability law to hold the adult in this example liable for their losses.

How Do Damages Work in Dram Shop Cases?

Damages in a dram shop lawsuit can be the same as what you might expect in a typical drunk driving accident lawsuit. You can seek damages to pay for your medical expenses, lost income, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and so on. The difference is that you will name the alcohol vendor or social host as a defendant in addition to the person who caused the car accident.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Firm Today

If you have any questions about Texas dram shop laws and how they can come up in drunk driving accident claims, then don’t hesitate to contact our Houston dram shop case attorneys. We are here to answer all your questions, provide insight into the legal process that could be ahead of you, and advise if you have a claim to pursue. Rely on our experience to make this situation far less stressful and confusing. When Shellist Law is leading the way, you can feel confident about the path ahead.

Call (713) 715-5000 whenever you want to talk with our Houston dram shop lawyers about starting a case.

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