Nashville, TN DUI Crash Victim Sues Bars Who Overserved Driver

A Nashville, TN DUI crash victim is suing the driver who struck him while DUI, as well as the bars who had served the driver on Christmas Eve 2012.  According to the story, published on wrcbtv.comcocktail on white background, the bars, Miss Kelli’s Karaoke and Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar are facing liability for the driver’s medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.

Opinions are divided on the issue of whether establishments over serving patrons should be held responsible for the person’s later actions.  Dewayne Holman, who teaches required classes for bartenders serving alcohol, warns their is no excuse for continuing to serve an intoxicated person.  However, another man quoted in the article seems to sympathize with the bars, who rarely have extended interactions with patrons and often see them for “a fraction of a second”.

Georgia Dram Shop Act Allows DUI Victims to Sue

While this story should certainly be a reminder to bars and establishments serving alcohol that they can be held responsible, this concept is not new, nor limited to Tennessee.  In Georgia, the “Dram Shop Act” allows for those injured by DUI drivers to file lawsuits when two conditions are met: (1) that the bar or establishment knowingly served the person while they were in a visible state of intoxication, and (2) the establishment must or should have known the driver would soon be driving.

If you have questions about Georgia’s laws on suing bars, establishments, or homes who have overserved a DUI driver, call me today directly at (404) 590-6642.

New Proposed Pennsylvania Law in DUI Homicides

angieslawA new proposed Pennsylvania law in DUI homicides named “Angie’s Law”,  after 33 year old Angela Rigby, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2012, aims to punish multiple DUI offenders with a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison if they are involved in a DUI fatality.

The law would require anyone convicted of a past DUI and then involved in a fatal DUI accident to spend at least 5 years in prison and loose their driver’s license for life.  Under current Pennsylvania DUI laws, offenders do not face as much jail time, even when their accident proves fatal.

In depth information on the proposed DUI law, along with the law’s full text can be found on the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.  

 

Colorado Bill Could Make Driving Too High Illegal

Colorado recently amended their Constitution to allow for those 21 and over to legally possess and smoke marijuana.  Now, Colorado is on the way to becoming one of the few states in the U.S. to enact a DUI law limiting the amount of THC one may have in their system when driving.  Last week, a proposed bill that would set a “per se” or legal limit of THC at 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood, passed a house committee and is on the way up the ladder.  Of course, the bill has critics on both sides questioning its effectiveness.  colorado marijuana DUI

Proponents say that the bill is necessary, and even call for lower limits on the amount of THC one may legally have pulsing through their bloodstream while driving.  Others, however, say that impairment may vary greatly from person to person, making the hard-and-fast limit impracticable and ineffective.  Notably, the most current version of the bill does allow for those charged with DUI marijuana to rebut the charges by showing a lack of impairment.  Therefore, factors like driving actions and performance of field sobriety tests will become important in the cases.

Currently, Georgia and most other states do not allow for legal possession of marijuana.  Georgia does have DUI laws to include those driving under the influence of marijuana, but, under Georgia’s laws the State must prove impairment rather than mere consumption.  This comes after a successful challenge to the Georgia law under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

So, should all states enact DUI charges that set a legal limit in marijuana cases?  Is Colorado’s proposed law a good idea or is it flawed?  Comment below.