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Can I Sue a Convenience Store Following a DUI Accident?

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If your loved one has been killed or a drunk driver has injured you, make sure you talk to our Nashville car accident attorney about your legal rights, including how dram shop laws could play a role in your case.

In 1986, Tennessee enacted dram shop laws that allow drunk driving injury victims and their loved ones to hold bars, convenience stores and restaurants liable if they over serve patrons who cause wrecks.

These circumstances include instances when a drunk driver is underage, or if a person was intoxicated “beyond a reasonable doubt” when he or she was served alcohol. Bars, restaurants and retailers have a duty to make sure that they are not serving people who are already highly intoxicated, as they could potentially cause fatal accidents.

If an outlet knowingly serves a patron alcohol when he or she is already intoxicated, it can be held liable in the event that he or she causes a drunk driving accident. This means, if a drunk driver has injured you, you can hold not only hold the driver liable, you could potentially hold an establishment that served him or her liable as well.

Dram shop laws can be incredibly complex, so make sure you speak to our experienced Nashville accident attorney about how they may pertain to your case.


We bring this subject up because WTVC-TV reported that a Cleveland, Tenn. family recently settled a drunk driving lawsuit with a convenience store that they say sold alcohol to a driver prior to their son’s death in 2010.

According to WTVC, it was the first time in Tennessee that a family filed a lawsuit against a convenience store over dram shop laws. The drunk driver was reportedly highly intoxicated when the crash occurred, as her blood alcohol content level was three times over the legal limit. The woman that caused the accident was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. As this case shows, if your loved one is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, there may be multiple parties you can hold liable.

You can contact our Nashville injury attorney now by using the live chat option located on this page or by calling the number listed above. Visit our verdicts and settlements page to see how we have helped vehicle accident victims.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” Luke 2:9

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