New Mexico’s Dram Shop Liability Statute Can Help Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Fully Recover for Their Injuries

New Mexico drunk driving accidents are too common, claiming upwards of 100 lives per year. To combat the threat drunk driving poses, lawmakers have enacted strict drunk driving laws that prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. Additionally, in some cases, New Mexico imposes liability on bars and restaurants that over-serve customers who go on to cause serious accidents through the state’s Dram Shop statute.

sunset

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Florida issued a written opinion in a personal injury case involving an allegedly drunk driver who caused an accident after drinking several alcoholic drinks during a round of golf. The question the court had to answer was whether the golf course could be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, based on the state’s Dram Shop statute. While the New Mexico Dram Shop statute differs from Florida’s in several ways, the basic concepts are similar.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff’s wife was killed when she was struck by an allegedly drunk driver. The driver was on his way home after a round of golf at the defendant golf course. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the golf course, claiming that it should be held responsible for his wife’s death because employees of the golf course over-served the driver to the point of intoxication.

The evidence presented showed that the driver had been to the golf course about 70 or 80 times over the past three years. Employees of the golf course testified that each time the man would go golfing, he would imbibe great amounts of whiskey, often more than six strongly poured drinks over the course of a few hours. On the day of the fatal drunk driving accident, it was established that the man consumed at least four strong whiskey cocktails.

The defendant argued that, under Florida’s Dram Shop liability statute, it could not be held liable because employees of the golf course did not serve the man while knowing that he had an addiction to alcohol. However, the court disagreed, finding that there was sufficient evidence presented to show that the employees should have had some indication that the man did have a drinking problem and was addicted to alcohol.

In New Mexico drunk driving cases, plaintiffs need only prove that an establishment served the patron while it was “reasonably apparent” that the patron was intoxicated.

Have You Been a Victim of a New Mexico Drunk Driving Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a New Mexico drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for all that you have been through. The dedicated New Mexico personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have extensive experience representing victims and their families in a wide range of personal injury lawsuits, including DUI accidents. Call 505-889-FINE to schedule your free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case today.

More Blog Posts:

Student’s Case Against School Dismissed After Falling from School Zip Line, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2017.

State Appellate Court Recognizes Wrongful Birth Lawsuit, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2017.