To reiterate prior blog posts about both the dram shop rule as it applies in Georgia and who can later be held responsible for serving alcohol when someone is later injured or killed, and the dangers of drinking and driving, a Judge in Boston, Massachusetts recently ordered the payment of a total of two million dollars ($ 2,000,000.00/and No 00ths) to each of the parents of a teenager who was killed in a drunk driving crash.
The teenager was at a party who was hosted by a 23 year old by the name of Craig Snow, and the Judge ordered Snow to pay each of the parents one million dollars ($ 1,000,000.00 and No/00ths) as the host of the party. In Georgia, the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Section 51-4-4 governs the Parent’s Rights to Recover for the Wrongful Death of a Child. The Judge in this case stated that the judgement was based on the concept of reasonableness stating that homeowners are left with little protection for serving people at their homes, getting them drunk, and then letting them drive.
The Judge further reiterated that this case should serve as a wake up call to anyone hosting a party where alcohol is present. Most homeowners policies in Georgia will not protect the homeowner from liability if the homeowner was serving alcohol in the home.
Furthermore, the person who was driving the car who was drunk who caused the accident that killed the daughter was charged with, and pled guilty to, motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk. Georgia has similar laws that hold person’s criminally responsible for driving drunk and causing the death of another under Article I. Homicide, Title 16, Chapter 5, Article 1.
These are accidents and tragic deaths that could have been avoided. It can not be reiterated enough how drinking and driving is not worth it and can cost the life of another human being. Again, in these situations, nobody wins. A life is lost and the person loses the right to enjoy life, the parents lose a nineteen year old daughter, two young men must live with this the rest of their lives, and money will never fully compensate anyone for this loss.
In 2009, in Georgia over 399 people were killed in auto accidents where alcohol was involved to some degree which was 31% of all the fatal accidents. This number is astonishing. Not to mention it is very difficult for a family to recover from the loss of a loved one when the loss could have been prevented. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Law Twenty-Sixth Edition that lists the drinking and driving laws in detail in each State.
Even the Federal Trade Commission has recently put a dog in the fight against teens using alcohol by highlighting the alcohol industry’s efforts to reduce advertising and marketing to teens. All of us can join in the fight against drunk driving. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, then please Contact Us for your free consultation. We are firm believers in all efforts against drunk driving.