The family of an Atlanta area man is suing the restaurant that served alcohol to two others who were involved in the wreck that killed the man. They’re using Georgia’s Dram Shop Act, under which restaurants and bars are supposed to stop serving customers who appear intoxicated and are likely to drive soon.
Eddie Ko was killed in December 2010 when a car driven by Gho Lee hit a car driven by Soon Kwon, crossed the center line, and collided with Ko’s car head-on. Both Lee and Kwon had been served alcohol together at Cafe Todahmgol in Duluth. Ko’s family is suing the restaurant, alleging the staff knew or should have known Lee and Kwon would soon be driving when they were served.
Breaking the Law
Under Georgia’s dram shop statute, anyone who serves alcohol is supposed to refrain from serving drinkers who are underage or noticeably intoxicated when the server knows the drinkers will soon get behind the wheel. Servers who violate the law are subject to liability for any deaths, injuries or damages the drunk drivers cause.
This law has limits. Probably the biggest hurdle is establishing that the bar, restaurant or other server had sufficient reason to know the drinker was intoxicated.
In 2005, for example, the Georgia Supreme Court refused to hold a restaurant liable for serving 10 glasses of wine to a woman who seriously injured two other women while driving home, ruling the absence of public transportation and the fact that the drinking woman was part of a group weren’t enough to infer she was likely to drive soon.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, contact Atlanta car accident lawyer Ty Wilson at 1-866-937-5454 or visit tywilsonlaw.com to read his many articles and blogs, or to watch his videos. Ty has also written books that he offers free to the public in the interest of providing valuable knowledge that anyone who is dealing with car accident claim should have.