Earlier last year, a South Florida woman tweeted “2 Drunk 2 Care” minutes before she was involved in a fatal accident that killed two 21-year-old women. According to a local news report, the woman pleaded guilty to two charges of DUI manslaughter stemming from the 2013 accident that killed the women.
Investigations revealed that the woman drank two large margaritas earlier in the evening. Apparently, after drinking the large drinks, she tweeted right before the collision that occurred on the Sawgrass Expressway in South Florida. The woman began driving the wrong way on the Expressway and then collided head-on with the car driven by the young victim. Unfortunately, both of the women died as a result of the accident. The driver claims that she told the bartender that she was under age but that he continued to serve her drinks nonetheless. She was also severely injured in the crash and is currently in a wheelchair. The driver can face up to 30 years in prison, which will be determined at her sentencing hearing.
Dram Shop Laws in Florida
Many states have enacted a statute entitled the “Dram Shop” Act. This act makes it possible for a victim or the family of an accident victim to bring a lawsuit against the establishment that served an intoxicated patron who caused an accident. Florida law specifies that the establishment must knowingly provide alcohol to a person who is under the legal drinking age or is a “habitually addicted” individual. The establishment can be held liable for the injuries caused by the addicted person or the minor.
The Dram Shop Act not only applies to any individuals injured by the person under the influence but also to the drunken individual themselves. For example, if a person stops at a bar and the bartender serves them alcohol when they are aware that the patron is under age or habitually addicted to alcohol, and the patron leaves and gets into an accident and injures themselves, that driver may bring a suit against the establishment. Additionally, if the patron is served alcohol when the establishment knows they are habitually addicted or under age and that patron goes on to injure a third party, that third party may bring a suit against not only the driver but against the establishment as well.
In the above case, it is likely that the families of the victims may bring a suit against the establishment as well as the driver. However, the driver may attempt to bring a claim against the establishment for her injuries as well if she can prove that the establishment knowingly provided her with alcohol when she was under age.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
If you or a loved one has been injured because another driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may consider bringing a lawsuit against that individual. Furthermore, if your case is anything like the one discussed above, there may be additional parties you may wish to add to your claim to help ensure you are able to recover damages if you are indeed successful at trial. These types of cases involve a significant amount of research and preparation, especially when additional parties are joined. It is highly recommended that you contact one of our car accident attorneys to discuss your rights and remedies. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries and other related damages. Contact the Dean Law Firm at 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Canadian Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2015.
Florida Police Patrol Car Gets into Accident with SUV, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2014.