When frequenting a bar or restaurant in the state of Tennessee, you have the right to be served the amount of alcohol that you specifically request. Since alcohol is a depressant, those ordering alcohol need to be aware of how much they are consuming. This is so that they can make sensible decisions and keep themselves safe.
However, overserving is a phenomenon that is more common than one might think. Many bars overserve alcohol in an attempt to intoxicate the customer in the hope that they will then buy more. This is irresponsible and unlawful behavior.
In addition to serving the correct amount of alcohol to customers, bars and restaurants also have the legal responsibility to refuse service to customers who are clearly intoxicated and may cause injury to themselves or to others.
How do overserving and dram shop laws affect DUI charges?
When a person gets behind the wheel, it is assumed that they are aware of the amount of alcohol that they have consumed and that they have been in full control of the amount of alcohol imbibed.
If a person is overserved in a bar, they are likely to believe that they are within the legal limit in regard to their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, since they were given more alcohol than they were aware of, they may, in fact, be illegally driving even though they did everything in their own power to act responsibly.
In a case such as this, it may be possible for the bar or restaurant that overserved them to be held legally liable for causing a person to drive under the influence of alcohol.
In a similar light, it is also possible for an establishment to be accountable if they continued to serve a clearly intoxicated person. By continuing to serve a person in this position, they are putting him or her in danger, and potentially the public, too.
If you have been charged with a DUI after being overserved alcohol in a Tennessee bar, it is a good idea to explore your options in regard to holding the premises in question liable.