When Is a Driver Obviously Intoxicated?

Drunk driving accidents can cause serious injuries. In many accidents, injured parties have legal grounds to hold the drunk driver accountable for damages. However, in addition to drunk drivers, sometimes injury victims can hold liable the bar or establishment that served alcohol.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code allows the state to revoke alcoholic beverage licenses when establishments violate the code. Serving alcohol to an intoxicated person who poses a danger to themselves or others is a code violation.

How Can You Prove an Intoxicated Person Was a Danger?

All U.S. states recognize .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the standard for intoxication. BAC levels are one type of proof in a drunk driving accident.

However, bartenders cannot ask patrons to blow into a breathalyzer. Moreover, by the time drivers are blowing into a breathalyzer, they may have already caused an accident.

A provider must learn to judge whether the patron has become inebriated to the point of being a danger. Many factors are involved. For example, patrons come in various sizes. Body weight can be a determining factor for how much alcohol someone can drink. A large man weighing 190 pounds can consume more alcohol without becoming intoxicated than a petite 100 pound woman. Eating food before drinking also tends to slow down alcohol absorption. These are factors providers can observe about their patrons.

Furthermore, the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) offers training to help establishments determine a patron’s intoxication level. There are different stages of intoxication. Slurred speech is one of the first signs. Another indicator is trouble maintaining balance or walking. Slowed reaction time is also a sign. For this reason, the TABC recommends providers greet customers right away to get a sense of their normal reaction time. In addition, an inebriated patron may experience a behavior change, becoming aggressive to those around them. When signs are evident, the provider should stop serving the patron alcohol.

Experienced Legal Help with Drunk Driving Accidents

Whether occurring in San Antonio or from Terrel to Odessa, drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries. The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz can assist you wherever you’re located.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your accident. If we take your case, there are no out-of-pocket expenses. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis—meaning there are no fees unless we win or settle your case.