Be Careful of Drunk Drivers Thanksgiving Eve

row of liquor shots being poured
Be careful of drunk drivers on the road on the evening before Thanksgiving. Across the country, the bar industry knows that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest drinking nights of the year. Old friends get together and meet up at the local watering holes.

In 2012, 31% (10,322 people) of all traffic deaths involved drunk drivers.1 Many more each year suffer catastrophic injuries, but live with the consequences.

People victimized by drunk drivers not only may sue the drunk drivers, but also these victims may have rights against the seller of the alcohol consumed by the drunk driver.

Under General Laws ch. 138, § 69,2 sellers of alcoholic beverages cannot serve an intoxicated patron. If the establishment does sell alcohol to an intoxicated person and a drunk driving collision occurs, the victim may bring a negligence case against the establishment.

Our Courts have stated that “in this Commonwealth waste of human life due to drunken driving on the highways will not be left outside the scope of the foreseeable risk created by the sale of liquor to an already intoxicated individual.”

When a seller of alcohol serves an intoxicated person who subsequently drives drunk and has a motor vehicle collision, violation of Gen. Law Ch. 138 is evidence of the sellers negligence.

Under General Laws Ch. 138, § 34,3 licensed establishments cannot sell alcohol to minors.

If a minor drives drunk and causes injury, the injured victim may have rights to sue the seller of the alcohol regardless of whether the minor was intoxicated when the establishment served alcohol to the minor.

Liquor establishments need to train their staff to recognize intoxicated patrons and to cut them off. In order to prevent this chronic societal problem, sellers of alcohol need to be held accountable to the victims of drunk drivers.

This week (and all weeks) stay safe so you can enjoy the Holidays with family and friends!

Learn more about what to do if you are hit by a drunk driver.


1CDC – Impaired Driving: Get the Facts

2General Laws ch. 138, § 69

3General Laws Ch. 138, § 34

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