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Family turns to bar owners after fatal accident

When Connecticut drivers get behind the wheel of the car after drinking, they are making a choice to drive under the influence of alcohol. If they make the choice to drive when they are over the legal blood alcohol limit, they are putting other drivers, even their passengers at risk.

Driving under the influence is negligent and reckless driving. Therefore, these drivers are held responsible for any head-on collisions, injuries or deaths that occur because of their choices. Although there is a large amount of personal responsibility placed on drunk driving, there may also be some liability placed on the heads of the restaurants, bars or bartenders that served the alcohol to the driver.

A family in Connecticut recently filed a lawsuit against a number of bars that served alcohol to the driver of the car that killed their family member. The accident occurred in 2013, when the driver crashed the car with a blood alcohol level 0.239, well over the legal limit. The 25-year-old passenger of the car went into a coma and died a few days later.

His family is now seeking damages from five different bar establishments, under the state's Dram Shop Act. The Dram Shop Act places a potentially liability of up to $250,000 against liquor sellers in situations were alcohol is served to a person at their establishment who eventually causes injury or damage. The family is hoping to use evidence to show that the bar owners negligently provided alcohol to the driver. They argue that the driver often frequented these establishments in order to get intoxicated and that at some point that night he showed visible signs of intoxication but was continually served alcohol.

The driver of the car also faces criminal charges. The family of the victim previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, which case was settle for an undisclosed amount of money outside of the courtroom.

Source: The Hour, "Fatal DUI accident victim's family seeks damages from local bars," Steve Kobak, May 20, 2014

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