Deceased Young Man’s Parents Sue Under Georgia Dram Shop Law

The parents of a deceased young adult have filed suit in Fulton County for the death of their son. The Atlanta fatal accident occurred in 2010 and was caused by a drunk driver. As a Georgia wrongful death lawyer, I have long been a supporter of Georgia Mothers Against Drunk Driving and want readers to understand the Georgia law under which this lawsuit has been filed. The cause of this tragic accident is unfortunately too common — drinking and driving.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this promising University of Georgia graduate was an intern for then-Governor and had recently been awarded a fellowship to continue his work. He had been celebrating with other interns the night of the accident and was the designated driver for the group. He had just dropped his friends off and was headed to his apartment, when this tragedy occurred.

The drunk driver that hit the young man’s car had just finished her work as a waitress. She is said to have been having “shots” after work. Her alcohol level was .229, which is close to three times the legal limit. Allegedly, the establishment that served her the alcohol, continued to do so even after she was obviously drunk. The driver is serving a five-year prison sentence, having pled guilty to driving under the influence and wrongful death.

Due to the circumstances involved, the lawsuit names the establishment that served her. The suit alleges that the establishment knew or should have known she would be driving.

Georgia’s Dram Shop Law is intended to keep those providing alcohol to continue to do so, when someone is noticeably intoxicated. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 51-1-40 (b) provides that: (b) … a person who knowingly sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a state of noticeable intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle, may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person when the sale, furnishing, or serving is the proximate cause of such injury or damage.

The tragedy in this case is that the young man apparently used good sense and was a designated driver for his friends. He was hit by the drunk driver while he was on his way home. He is said to have suffered between the time he was struck and the time he was extricated from his vehicle. His parents are asking the court to provide them with damages for their son’s wrongful death and his pain and suffering. The damages for this will in part be calculated on his life expectancy had the accident not occurred.

As a supporter of Georgia’s Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, I hope for the elimination of this deadly activity. As an Atlanta, Georgia dram shop attorney, I know that when victims are injured or are killed due to a drunk driver, it is important that they recover from their injuries. I hope to help families heal from these tragedies.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to the actions of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to recover from the driver and or others who provided the driver with alcohol. Please contact Scholle Law for a free consultation on any injury or accident matter. We have offices in Duluth, Buckhead and other locations in the Atlanta metro area.


Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer, Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer