Thursday, March 16, 2017

Can a Bar be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver?

One of the most debated subjects is about liability for over-serving a patron alcohol.  Many people think that a bartender or bar should be held responsible for any injuries that result from over-serving one of their customers with alcohol. Many other people think that it is not fair to hold a bartender or bar responsible for actions done by another person that result from being served too much alcohol.

In Maryland, it has long been held that a bar owner cannot be held liable for the injuries or death of someone that is caused by a drunk driver who was drinking at the bar. This rule is known as the Dram Shop Law. Maryland simply DOES NOT recognize a duty that a bar owes to a third person. In other words, a bar owner owes no duty to a car accident victim whose vehicle was struck by a patron based on the bar's serving of alcohol to the patron prior to the accident. Maryland law does not say that a bartender is required to analyze the drunk state of every person they serve alcohol. It is simply too a high a duty that that would place on a bartender to have to monitor how much alcohol every bar patron has been served and to have to make sure they are not driving a car when they leave the bar.

This topic is always hotly debated and will likely continue to be debated in the future. For now, just know that you cannot hold a bar or a bartender liable for injuring someone else because the bartender served you with too much alcohol.

If you've been charged with an alcohol-related offense in Maryland, call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

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