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Drunk Drivers

Injury or death caused by a drunk driver is perhaps the most upsetting, anger provoking of all kinds of personal injury cases. The thought of an innocent victim suffering serious or fatal injury at the hands of an irresponsible individual can evoke outrage among members of the community. At the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Miller, we aggressively pursue claims against irresponsible drinkers and the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that improperly serve them. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, drunk drivers caused an average of 27 deaths per day in 2011.

Under Louisiana law (Civil Code art. 2315.4), exemplary damages may be awarded if the plaintiff's injuries were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose INTOXICATION while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.

Although the law can never replace a loved one, it does provide means of recovery for victims. Victims can sue the drunk driver under the general laws of negligence, but often the drunk driver is either uninsured or underinsured and has few, if any, assets to support a lawsuit.

In Louisiana, people who serve alcoholic beverages to minors are liable for damages caused by a minor to whom liquor was sold. Hopkins v. Sovereign Fire & Cas. Ins. Co., 626 So.2d 880 (1993).

In some states, a liquor store, bar or restaurant may be responsible for any damages caused by a person's drinking if it sold alcohol to a person who was obviously intoxicated. Louisiana law, however, creates no liability for the server who provides alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person, who then causes injuries or property damage as a result of their intoxication. Louisiana law operates under the presumption that the intoxication is the proximate cause of any injuries, death, or property damage, and it is the intoxicated person who is primarily liable with respect to injuries to third persons. L.A.R.S. 9:2800.1.

In some states, "social hosts" may be held liable for the damages caused by intoxicated guests, if the host provides alcoholic beverages to an obviously intoxicated guest whom they know to be driving. A social host is an individual who serves alcoholic beverages in a social setting, such as a home or a party, or as where an employer serves alcoholic beverages at a company sponsored function. In Louisiana, however, liability does not attach to "social hosts" under most situations. The social host is not liable for the damages caused by an intoxicated guest unless the host forces the guest to consume alcoholic beverages, or falsely represents that the beverages did not contain alcohol. Hollis v. City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge, 593 So.2d 388 (1991).

In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of an automobile accident involving a drunk driver, call the Law Office of Kenneth G. Miller at 337-289-1300.

Office Location

Law Office of
Kenneth G. Miller

111 Mercury Street
Suite C
Lafayette, LA 70503

Phone: 337-289-1300
Toll Free: 800-521-3849

Fax: 337-289-1302
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