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Home » Who is Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents

Who is Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents?

There could be many people and entities that can be responsible for your drunk driving injuries including some of these parties:

  • The drunk driver that caused the accident.
  • The drunk driver’s employer if they were working at the time of the accident.
  • The drunk driver’s server, typically the restaurant that over served the driver.

Who is liable for Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas?

Drunk driving accidents can be traumatic events. When you turn to focus on put the pieces back together you may want to know who is liable for a drunk driving accident in Texas. Below are some of the people or entities that could be held responsible when determining who to bring a drunk driving claim against:

  • THE DRUNK DRIVER: First start with the drunk driver. Assuming that there was no intervening force that forced them to cause the incident or you were not partially responsible for the accident. The drunk driver would be the first person who could be liable for the accident that caused your injuries and damages.
  • THE DRUNK DRIVER’S EMPLOYER: If the Drunk Driver was working at the time of the accident, his or her Employer could be vicariously liable for the torts that their employees cause as long as they are foreseeable and committed while in the course of their employment. As long as the drunk driver was not deviating too much from the intended work, his or her boss will still be liable for all of your injuries.
  • THE DRUNK DRIVER’S SERVER: If a bar, restaurant, or other establishment serves a customer alcohol and that customer becomes intoxicated, then that establishment could be liable to victims if the customer injures them under the Texas Dram Shop Act.

How Does Texas Make Adults Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents?

​In Texas, the State Law that hold drunk drivers liable is:
(a)  A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
(b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
(c)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.
(d)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

​Can I Still Recover Under My Own Insurance If the Drunk Driver Didn’t Have Enough or Any Insurance?

Attorney John D Pascoe

Pascoe Law Firm

1414 S. Friendswood Dr, STE 120,

Friendswood, TX 77546

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​Yes, if you have something called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. Even if the drunk driver that injured you does not have any or enough cash or insurance to cover your injury bills and damages, you can still turn to your own insurance provider and collect under your personal policy for underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protect coverage.

​Why Are Employers Liable in Drunk Driving Accidents?

​An employer can be held responsible for the accidents that its employee creates under the theory known as respondeat superior. This theory holds that employers are liable for the harm that their employees inflict while they are working within their scope of employment. The rationale is that the employee is acting for the benefit of the employer and subject to the employer’s control. As a result, it is only just to hold the employer liable if their employee causes your injuries. However, many courts across the country disagree on this issue arguing that drunk driving is inherently outside of the employee’s scope of employment. We suggest you talk to a lawyer to see if it could fit within the work scope of the employee.

​Why Are Restaurants and Bars Liable in Drunk Driving Accidents?

Like many other states, Texas has enacted a set of Dram Shop laws that make establishments like restaurants and bars liable for the injuries that their patrons cause if the customer was served while they were clearly intoxicated. They want to put the pressure and responsibility on bars, restaurants, and other places because they are in a good position to prevent DWI or DUI auto accidents from occurring. Additionally, they are normally insured and provide another avenue for injury victims to be able to get compensation to cover their medical bills and damages. Finally, it is important to note that parties liable under Texas Dram Shop laws are not just commercial places like a bar or a restaurant. Social hosts like families holding holiday parties can be liable if they serve intoxicated guests.

​Need help with a DWI Car Accident in Houston or Galveston?

​Please feel free to call the Pascoe Law Firm to discuss your case and see if we could help you following a DUI car accident involving injuries.  Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorney is committed to fight to protect the rights of those injured in a DWI auto accident. Contact our Car Accident Lawyer today at 713-829-4317.

Additional Information and Resources

Texas Dram Shop Law
​Texas Statue on Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverages

Attorney, John D. Pascoe and the Pascoe Law Firm, is responsible for the content on this website, principal office and only office located in ​​Galveston County, Texas. Available to service ​​Friendswood, Texas by appointment.

Webpage is intended solely for residents of Texas or Persons seeking representation within Texas. An Attorney-Client relationship only occurs when both parties agree that the Attorney will represent the Client and will not be created until that agreement occurs. Website and all of its pages is intended to be used for educational purposes and does not constituted as legal advice. All information on every page of the website does NOT suggest or claim that the attorney has a specialization in any area of legal practice or certification. Attorney not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations.