As most people likely know, restaurant and bar employees who overserve alcohol to a patron and/or serve to a minor can be held responsible if that person later becomes involved in a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, car accidents sometimes result from a server or bartender failing to serve alcohol responsibly. In a recent example, a server has been charged after she allegedly served alcohol to three teenagers at a Texas restaurant. The teens were killed later that night when their vehicle crashed into a tree.
The incident happened near Dallas. According to a recent police news release, the teens’ vehicle caught on fire after crashing into a tree. All three occupants, ranging in age from 16 to 18 years, were pronounced dead at the accident scene.
Reportedly, prior to the crash, a server at a BBQ restaurant in Plano had sold alcohol to the victims. Since investigators have determined both alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, the 36-year-old woman now faces several charges, including three counts of alcohol sale to a minor and one count of sale of an alcoholic beverage during prohibited hours. Authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.
Most people would agree that car accidents involving drugs or alcohol are most often a result of at least one person’s poor decision. In some cases, evidence indicates that events prior to the accident affected the outcome, and in such situations, a person other than the driver can be held responsible. In this case, the server, if convicted, could face up to one year in jail. However, separate from any criminal charges filed, she may also be held accountable within the Texas civil justice system. An attorney experienced in this area of the law could provide valuable legal guidance if the victims’ family members decide to explore this option.