Bar Patron Hit 5 Pedestrians - New Mexico Dram Shop Law

April 27, 2011

Having spent the evening drinking, a customer left an Albuquerque bar after midnight on March 27, 2011. When he attempted to drive, he hit five pedestrians. Two were hospitalized, one in critical condition. Three suffered minor injuries.

When the police arrived, the driver was given a breath alcohol test. It showed a blood-alcohol concentration at a level more than twice the level at which driving is illegal.

A New Mexico personal injury lawyer could make claims for bodily injury damages against the drunk driver. The New Mexico car accident lawyer would also make claims for damages against the operator of the bar.

Under New Mexico dramshop laws, the bar operator can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by an intoxicated patron. If bar employees served alcohol to the drunk driver when they should have known that he was intoxicated, the operator can be held liable for damages. If the intoxication is a substantial cause of the bodily injuries, the bar operator can be held liable for its proportionate share of the damages.

The driver’s impairment was readily apparent. When police attempted to administer field sobriety tests, the driver was unable to maintain his balance. The police stopped the tests because they feared that the driver would suffer serious injury if he fell.