Under some circumstances, a bar, restaurant, or tavern may be held responsible to the victims of an Ohio drunk driver. When an employee of a commercial establishment continues to serve alcohol to a noticeably intoxicated person, that business can be held accountable for injuries and death caused by that intoxicated patron when he or she is later involved in a serious Ohio car crash.
The attorney representing the Ohio drunk driving victim will have to prove several things to recover against the business:
1.) The business must have owned the liquor permit under which the alcohol was served,
2.) The business through one of its employees must have knowingly served alcohol to a "noticeably intoxicated person" or to an under-aged person, and
3.) The person’s intoxication was the direct cause of injury, death, or property damage.
A bar employee will almost always claim that he or she did not "know" that the patron was intoxicated when served. They make this claim because the business is only liable if the employee knowingly sold and served the alcohol either to an intoxicated person or an under-aged drinker.
An Ohio attorney who specializes in helping victims of drunk drivers can get around this defense by presenting evidence about the patron’s behavior and the number of drinks consumed. Other patrons at the bar can testify about the intoxicated person’s behavior. A police officer at the scene of the crash can testify about the drunk person’s behavior just minutes after leaving the bar. Sometimes an attorney will hire an expert, usually a doctor or toxicologist, who will explain to the jury what the patron’s behavior had to be after consuming so many alcoholic drinks.
To help Ohio victims of drunk drivers, an attorney must be willing to investigate the case thoroughly and hire competent experts to explain why a business had "to know" that the patron was intoxicated when served.