“Driving under the influence” or “Driving while intoxicated”, is the term for alcohol-related driving behavior. It is responsible for nearly 1/3 of all traffic deaths in this country. Many of these impaired drivers are repeat offenders and all can cause a heavy burden of death and/or injury to themselves and to innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Anyone who causes an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance is considered negligent. Unfortunately, this is of little comfort to someone who has sustained injuries or lost a loved one in an alcohol-related accident. The driver convicted of DUI has the liability to pay for all damages, but may not be the only person considered negligent or liable. Those who provided the alcohol may also be considered negligent and liable for damages. Many states have laws which impose liability on bars, clubs, restaurants, or hotels which supply liquor improperly. In such cases, a business is expected to exercise due care and not to serve anyone who is obviously drunk. Even someone outside of such a business may incur liability for supplying liquor to a driver who subsequently had an accident, injuring or killing others. The host of a party may be liable in some states if he continues to allow a guest to imbibe after it is obvious the guest is under the influence.