In California, Are Bars Liable for the Actions of Drunk Drivers?

Drivers under the influence of alcohol are a danger to themselves as well as others. Anytime someone gets hurt in an auto accident, it’s overwhelming. But when it turns out that the other driver was intoxicated when the accident happened, it’s much more so.

As such, in California, if a motorist has been drinking and then gets behind the wheel of their car, they are considered both irresponsible and criminally negligent under California’s drunk driving laws. To learn more about how you can recover financial compensation for your damages after a drunk driving accident, please call the California car accident lawyers at Maire & Deedon.

California Drunk Accident Statistics

The California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) provides data on collisions that occurred in the state. According to SWITRS, there were more than 1,000 alcohol-involved collisions in California every year.

The term “avoidable” can be used to describe accidents that occur as a result of alcohol impairment. This is because these types of accidents could have been prevented if the individual had not been drinking. Drunk driving accidents, as such, are considered to be avoidable because they could have been avoided if the driver had not been impaired.

Given the fact that these accidents could be categorized as avoidable, many people worry that there needs to be done to address the issue; possibly holding the bars and patrons who served the alcohol responsible.

Is There the Dram Shop Rule in California?

The dram shop rule is a legal doctrine that holds establishments that sell alcoholic beverages liable for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons. The rule is based on the theory that these businesses should be held responsible for the harm that their products cause since they are in a position to prevent it. However, in California, there is no such rule; bars, party hosts, and nightclubs are not liable for the actions of drunk drivers.

What Do Victims of Drunk Drivers Do if They Want To Sue the Bar?

The legal age for driving in California is lower than the lower age of drinking in the state. As such, one way is to sue for serving alcohol to a minor. This is could be filed because the bar was negligent in serving alcohol to someone who was not of legal drinking age.

Are Drunk Driving Accidents Covered by Insurance?

There is no single answer to this question as it depends on the insurance policy of the other driver involved in the accident. Generally speaking though, most insurance policies cover accidents that are caused by drunk drivers, but there may be exceptions depending on the specific policy. This is because drunk driving is typically seen as an act of negligence.

Bringing the Drunk Driver to Justice Through Punitive Damages

Even if the insurance company pays you, after a drunk driver causes harm to you or a loved one, it is imperative that a deterrent message be delivered. It is the goal of punitive damages to prevent the offender and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. When it comes to personal injury claims, punitive damages may be a very effective form of compensation for you, especially for situations involving drunk drivers.

Maire & Deedon

If you are in a car accident with a drunk driver in California, consider connecting with one of the talented Redding, California personal injury attorneys at Maire & Deedon for legal assistance.

Drunk drivers can be held liable for any damages they cause an accident, and our firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve. We have extensive experience representing victims of drunk driving accidents, and we will fight tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. Call us at (530) 246-6050 today for a free consultation.