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Business and Social Host Liability for DUI Accidents: Dram Shop Laws in Georgia

In cases of DUI accidents, people other than the driver may be liable for damages. Of course, the drunk driver will likely hold the largest portion of responsibility — they knew drunk driving was dangerous, yet decided to do it anyway, and are therefore at fault. It is possible that other parties may have enabled that person to drive drunk and could also be held liable for damages. To account for these instances, many states have dram shop laws in place.

Under dram shop laws, individuals and businesses who supply alcohol to people who eventually drive drunk can be held liable for any resulting damages. The terms of dram shop laws vary by state. In some states, only bars, restaurants, and liquor stores can be held liable under dram shop laws. Other states also include social host liability (Georgia is one of them).

The circumstances under which these parties can be held liable also vary between states. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Georgia, your ability to hold other parties liable will depend on the details of your case and how they relate to the state’s dram shop laws.

Business Liability in Georgia

Businesses such as bars, liquor stores, and restaurants can be held liable for DUI accident damages. However, dram shop laws only apply under certain conditions. In order for a business to be labeled as partially responsible for an accident, they must have served alcohol to a person who was noticeably intoxicated or was under the age of 21. Additionally, the business must have been aware that the customer would be driving after consuming alcohol.

It is important to note that business owners and managers are generally held liable for damages under dram shop laws — not the individual employees who served the customer.

Social Host Liability in Georgia

Georgia’s dram shop laws also attribute liability to the hosts of parties and other gatherings who serve alcohol to people who eventually drive drunk. The terms for social host liability are the same as those for businesses: The drunk driver must have been visibly intoxicated or a minor, and the host must have had some knowledge that the person would be driving.

Contact The Dickinson Law Firm, LLC if you or someone you know was injured in a drunk driving accident. We will evaluate the details of your case to determine who is liable for your damages, and will work to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Send us a message or call (770) 924-8155 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.