Last month, a personal injury claim settled, but criminal charges are still pending against an alleged drunk driver who was involved in a collision after drinking at Applebee's, the famous nationwide "neighborhood restaurant." Since there was no verdict in this case, it is unlikely that the details of the settlement will enter into evidence in the criminal matter. Police reports showed that the driver's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.
In civil cases, a bartender or bar owner can be liable for accidents caused by bar patrons who drink and drive. In this case, the alleged drunk driver struck a car after leaving Applebee's causing severe brain damage to a 6-year-old victim. According to the complaint, the injury has left 80% of his brain damaged.
Lawyers for the family alleged that the Mansfield, Texas Applebee's restaurant workers served the man 23 drinks in less than two hours, which lead to him getting behind the wheel and crashing into the victim's vehicle. The parents of the boy sought $10 million dollars from the Kansas City, Missouri based Applebee's restaurant; however the final settlement amount was not disclosed.
The driver involved in the accident has had prior DUIs and is most likely facing serious charges and penalties, including jail time. The actual charges have not been released, but it is possible that the driver could face vehicular assault charges in addition to a second or third DWI conviction. Any allegation of drunk driving demands an independent investigation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate the facts of any case and aggressively work to minimize or defeat charges and penalties.
Source: Reuters, "Applebee's settles family's DWI crash lawsuit," Andrew Chow, JD, May 30, 2012.