DUI Fatality Lands Several Columbia Bars and Restaurants in Hot Water
A lawsuit was recently filed against four local Columbia restaurants and bars for allegedly over serving alcohol to a customer who later caused a DUI accident resulting in death.
On the early morning of September 1st, 2015, a lady and three friends went “bar hopping” in the Harbison area. Afterwards, the twenty four year old resident drove down Interstate 26 while “grossly intoxicated,” rear ending another vehicle in which a 21 year old woman was a passenger. The innocent passenger was pronounced dead a few hours after the accident. The drunken driver was charged with felony DUI resulting in death, and was later indicted by the Lexington County grand jury. She was ordered to wear an alcohol monitor and was released on a $100,000 bond.
The victim’s father filed a lawsuit in Lexington County against the four local restaurants which allegedly over served the woman the night of the tragic accident. The lawsuit asks for unspecified actual and punitive damages and alleges that the four businesses over served the woman causing her to become intoxicated, rendering her incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.” According to the plaintiff, the defendants “could have likely prevented the decedent’s death by calling a (cab) for [her] or otherwise ensuring that she did not drive an automobile from their premises.” Each of the four bars has denied fault.
This is not the first case in which local bars and restaurants have been sued for over-serving alcohol to a patron who later killed or injured an innocent victim on the road in a DUI related accident. In January of 2012, a six year old girl was the victim of an over-served patron when he drove his Jeep into a car, ultimately killing the little girl. The lawsuit led to a $3.85 million negligence verdict in Richland County and to the passage of Emma’s Law in South Carolina. The law toughened penalties for DUI offenders.
Drunk driving and the devastating consequences it produces have become important issues to South Carolinians. Today, not only reckless drivers, but also negligent bars and restaurants can be held accountable in the event that an innocent victim is killed. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a DUI related accident that has resulted in serious injury or death, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights. To learn more about DUI accident injury claims, wrongful death claims, and personal injury lawsuits, please visit the DUI Victim page on our website.