Understanding Texas Dram Shop Laws: Liability for Alcohol-Related Accidents - Insights from a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

While towns and governments around the country have turned their attention to distracted driving and mitigating its various causes, drunk driving remains a significant concern. In fact, about one-third of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related collision in their lifetime. Moreover, about 2% of Texans self-reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the last month, per a recent survey.

Additionally, there were approximately 500 drunk driving accidents statewide, according to the most recent data available. Victims should know about their rights following a DUI accident in Texas. For instance, damages caused by an inebriated customer might be claimed against the establishment that supplied them under Texas' "Dram Shop" rules.

In the case of personal injury caused by a drunk driver, Texas Dram Shop laws will serve as a crucial reference to understanding your rights, possible responsibilities, and the road to justice.

DUI Accidents Across Texas

Texas is one of the five states with the highest incidence of drunk driving. Of course, drinking and driving is never a healthy combination, and every year it causes hundreds of preventable fatalities in our state.

That said, the most recent figures reveal a sad conclusion: drunk driving accidents throughout 2021 were much worse than in 2020, and preliminary figures for 2022 indicate the same unfortunate trend.

In Texas alone, there were just over 25,260 drunk driving accidents in 2021, which resulted in nearly 1,030 deaths, or one fatality every 8.5 hours. Traffic analysts also released the following figures:

  • Roughly 2,520 persons were critically hurt as a result of these collisions.
  • Drunk driving caused close to a quarter of all road fatalities in Texas in 2021.
  • Compared to 2020, there was a 9% rise in DUI-related auto accidents.

The pandemic, which changed the way of life for many Lone Star State residents and kept many at home for months, only partially explains this surging statistic. The reality is that more and more drivers are getting behind the wheel while drunk or otherwise inebriated, causing thousands of victims and their families to suffer every year.

DUI Laws in Texas

Understanding Texas Dram Shop Laws: Liability for Alcohol-Related Accidents - Insights from a Dallas Personal Injury LawyerAs a result of these concerning figures, Texas officials mandated the installation of certain ignition devices in the vehicles of all DUI offenders about eight years ago. Recent studies conducted by local and statewide analysts indicate that this could significantly reduce recidivism and related accidents.

On the other hand, it may not be adequate to address the threat posed by repeat offenders and those who have committed crimes in the past without being apprehended.

All in all, officials in Texas have worked hard to fight drunk driving actively. To ensure the safety of citizens statewide, authorities have enacted several stringent DUI laws for Texans.

What Are Texas Dram Shop Laws?

To begin, a definition of the Dram Shop Act is required. When it comes to selling and distributing booze in the Lone Star State, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code specifies the legal responsibility of establishments like restaurants and bars.

Thus, when an alcohol-related accident occurs, the law holds bars and restaurants responsible for whatever part they may have played in it. It protects Texans by providing them and their families with access to legal remedies in the event of injury caused by a business's breach of contract.

Penalties For Driving Drunk in Texas

Other than dram shop laws, there are a number of other factors that influence liability. In Texas, the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08, and anything beyond that is deemed legally intoxicated. Even if a motorist claims they do not feel intoxicated, breathalyzer tests do not lie. Furthermore, drunk driving is not a minor offense in Texas; DUI sanctions may be rather harsh.

  • First Offense: You may be fined up to $2,000 for this offense. You might be sentenced to 180 days in prison if convicted, with at least three days marked as obligatory, and your license may be suspended for up to one year.
  • Second Offense: You may be fined up to $4,000 for this offense, which is also punishable by between one month and one year in prison. Your license might be suspended for up to two years.
  • Third Offense: You must pay a fine of $10,000 and might have to serve a jail term ranging from two to ten years. Your license will be suspended for up to two years.

Other DUI Penalties in Texas

Of course, the state of Texas may levy extra financial penalties of $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000 at the time of sentence in addition to the fines listed above.

And if you are discovered driving under the influence with a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle, you will be subject to the following extra penalties and fines:

  • You may be charged with endangering a child.
  • You could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and a maximum two-year prison term.
  • Your license might be suspended for an additional 180 days.

There is no direct correlation between the number of drinks you consume and your blood alcohol level. It varies entirely on your gender, weight, and other variables, so avoid attempting to estimate after a night out. Perhaps you had just one drink but feel dizzy and realize you should not drive. Or maybe you are more confident in your driving abilities and believe you can drive home after a night of drinking with your friends, despite the fact that you shouldn’t.

Remember that you must be honest with yourself and err on the side of caution. Don’t take any chances if you’ve been drinking; give your keys. Have a sober friend drive, or use a ride-sharing service. Even if it is inconvenient, it is the safest option for everyone around you.

Contact the Rasansky Law Firm in Dallas

Rasansky Law Firm’s auto accident lawyers have more than three decades of experience in assisting victims of incidents caused by careless and reckless drivers. Our team is ready to analyze the facts surrounding your case and assess your legal alternatives.

If a drunk driver in Texas has left you injured, you need exceptional legal counsel to recover and rebuild your life. Call Rasansky Law Firm at (214) 617-1981 for a free case review with one of our highly-skilled and seasoned Texas drunk driving accident lawyers. Our Dallas drunk driving accident attorneys are ready to assist you in obtaining the justice you deserve.



2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201

Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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