In a rather interesting set of circumstances, as described in a recent article from the Framingham Patch, a restaurant owner was arrested in connection with a drunk driving car crash involving another driver. There were actually two separate drunk driving accidents where two drivers left the Framingham restaurant and crashed into local police vehicles. One case involved an alleged drunk driver crashing his Porsche sport utility vehicle into the back of a police cruiser, and the second case involved an alleged drunk driver crashing his sedan into the rear of a police SUV.
As part of their investigation into the second crash, the police suspected the driver of being very intoxicated and charged him with operation to endanger and operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OUI). The police went to the last bar at which the driver was said to be drinking and attempted to obtain the video recording of the suspect consuming alcohol.
However, they were told that there was no recording, because it was said to have been destroyed in an electrical fire. The investigating detective became concerned that the video device was destroyed intentionally and called the local liquor control board. The bar’s license was suspended for two weeks following these allegations. More recently, the owner of the bar was arrested and charged with crimes related to the destruction of evidence and interfering with a police investigation. It should be noted that defendant has pleaded not guilty and is therefore presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty by a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt, as this is the standard of proof required in a criminal case.
While there are various reasons that a bar owner would not want to be associated with serving an alleged at-fault driver in a drunk driving accident, one of the main reasons is that a direct civil action can be filed against that bar owner in many cases. As our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain, this type of case is known as a dram shop action. While it is likely an unfamiliar term for most Americans, dram was commonly used in Europe to mean a single shot of whiskey.
In the case of a serious or fatal Boston drunk driving, the victim or his or her family could bring an action against the at-fault driver and also the owner of the bar or restaurant that served the defendant to the point of intoxication. The reason for this is because it is negligent to drive drunk, and it is also negligent to serve a person to the point of intoxication when you know or have reason to know that this person will be driving while intoxicated.
In some cases, the accused drunk driver is a regular customer of the drinking establishment at which he or she had the last drink, and the bartender knows that customer and has actual knowledge that he or she will be driving home. This is not to say that the drunk driver is not responsible for driving drunk, and that is why both the driver and the bar owner would be named as a defendant.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Man with 12 prior DUI convictions sentenced in crash that killed 12-year-old girl, Jan. 24, 2017, By Dave Bartkowiak Jr., ClickonDetroit.com
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Former NFL Quarterback Vince Young Given Probation for Drunk Driving, Feb. 7, 2017, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog