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Often the family of a person killed or seriously injured by a drunk driver does not realize that in addition to the criminal charges that can be filed against that drunk driver, that there are civil causes of action that they can often be used against the drunk driver and those parties that are responsible for allowing the drunk driver to drive drunk. These potential causes of action extend to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that serve intoxicated customers as well as employers that provide vehicles and alcohol to employees.
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A dram shop is any drinking establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold including bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The term "dram shop" relates back to a time when a drinking establishment served patrons alcohol by the measurement of a dram which is one eighth of a fluid ounce.
The Texas Dram Shop Law was passed in 1987. This law allows individuals to bring civil lawsuits against a person or business who serves, sells, or provides alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated to the extent that he presents a clear and obvious danger to himself or others. In these Texas Drunk Driver Accident lawsuits the injured person or family of the person need to prove where the drunk driver was drinking, the drunk driver caused the accident, that the intoxicated person was served after they were obviously intoxicated, and the intoxication was the proximate cause of the damage incurred.
In September 2004, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the law surrounding the responsibility between patrons and drinking establishments when they held in the Duenez decision that a licensed alcohol seller is jointly responsible with its patron when it provides alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron and that patron harms another.
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Employees that get drunk at work, office parties, while driving company vehicles, and while at company events can cause their employer to become responsible for a drunk driving accident that is caused by the drunk employee. As such, if a drunk employee causes a serious injury drunk driver accident, drunk driver multivehicle collision, or a fatal drunk driver crash, it is important to investigate where the employee was drinking, who supplied the alcohol, was the employer aware of the drinking, and was the employer aware of their employee having a history or a habit of drinking and driving during work.
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The trucking industry, bus companies, and other companies with commercial vehicles also have many drivers that are on drugs or alcohol. Though the more responsible companies with commercial vehicles will perform background checks on drivers, monitor drivers, and have safety policies that prevent intoxicated drivers from operating commercial vehicles, negligent companies will all too often allow drunk and intoxicated drivers to operate commercial vehicles and become hazards on Texas roads. From alcohol to speed and other forms of uppers to over the counter stimulants that keep the driver awake, the combination of tried overworked drivers on drugs and/or alcohol driving large commercial vehicles can cause devastating automobile accidents. These collisions are too often caused by several ton vehicles attempting to travel too fast, getting too close to passenger vehicles, or not slowing down for weather. When traveling on highways it is important to give these big vehicles room and if one is driving recklessly or speeding, to give that truck driver, bus driver, or other commercial vehicle driver some room.
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Driving on our roads is a necessary risk we all have to take, but driving becomes increasingly dangerous with drunk drivers are carelessly and recklessly driving on our roads. In Texas, there are laws against drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but too many drivers do not respect these laws and recklessly drive causing many automobile collisions.
Under Texas law, a driver is considered drunk or under the influence if they do not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body or if they have a blood alcohol concentration of over .08. And it is against Texas law for drunk drivers to operate motor vehicles, water craft, and air craft. If the drunk driver causes an automobile accident or boating accident that causes serious injuries or death, they can be charged under Texas law with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter both serious felonies.
For more information on Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuits, Texas Drunk Driver Crash Lawsuits, Texas Drunk Driver Wreck Lawsuits, Texas Intoxicated Driver Lawsuits, Texas Happy Hour Driver Lawsuits, Texas Commercial Vehicle Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuits, and Texas Drunk Driver Fatal Crash Lawsuits, please go to the following web pages: Passenger Van Rollover Lawsuit Information (Church, School and Tourist Vans), Texas Bus Company Accident Lawsuit Information and Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuit, Texas Drunk Employee Accident Lawsuit, and Texas Bar Drunk Driver Crash Lawsuit Information.