What You Should Know About Texas Dram Shop Law


If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in Texas caused by a drunk driver, not only can you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, but you may also be able to bring a legal claim against the establishment (i.e. a business such as bar or restaurant) that served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated individual. This is known as a “dram shop” claim.

According to TX Alcoholic Beverage Code Chapter 2, establishments that sell alcohol may be responsible for an injury caused by a customer if the vendor sold alcohol to either an obviously intoxicated person or a minor under 18 years old, and intoxication was a contributing factor to the cause of injuries.

For example, if a bar customer displays signs of intoxication (e.g. delayed responses, slurred speech, or difficulty walking or standing) and the bartender continues to serve him/her, but then the customer later ends up striking another vehicle after leaving the bar, the bar can be liable for damages suffered by the injured driver. On the other hand, if the customer had been under 18, the injured driver can bring a dram shop claim against the bar if the customer’s actions were a foreseeable cause of injury – even if the underage minor had not been obviously intoxicated.

In addition, Texas law also includes provisions on “social host liability.” This means an injured person can seek damages from a host over 21 years old who provides alcohol to a minor under 18, as long as the adult is not the minor’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the minor is on the adult’s property or the adult knowingly gave alcohol to a minor.

Injured in a car accident in Amarillo? Contact Quakenbush Law Firm today at (806) 424-4108 and schedule free consultation. Millions of dollars recovered on behalf of our clients!