Drunk drivers are a scourge on society. According to the CDC, in 2015, there were more than 10,000 people killed on American roadways due to drunk drivers. In Louisiana, drivers under 21 years old who are found to have a blood alcohol concentration, or a BAC, of at least 0.02% will be charged with driving while intoxicated, or DWI. Drivers who are 21 years and older and who are found to have a BAC of at least 0.08% will be charged with DWI.
If you suffered a serious injury after being involved in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver in Louisiana, you should know you don’t have recourse against alcohol vendors or social hosts. Louisiana doesn’t have these laws in place at this time.
According to Louisiana Revised Statutes section 9:2800.1, “…a person who has been injured by an intoxicated person cannot seek damages from the alcohol vendor or social host who provided the alcohol,”. Under this specific statute, there is no distinction between if he or she was legally intoxicated or if he or she appeared to be legally intoxicated. Not only that, but there is also no distinction made for the age of the intoxicated person – even if he or she is not of legal age to consume alcohol.
Exceptions to Third Party Liability Laws
According to our motorcycle accident lawyers, there are two specific statutes that prove exceptions to dram shop* and social host liability claims, which are:
- The social host or vendor caused the intoxicated by force
- The social host or vendor caused the intoxication by misrepresenting an alcoholic beverage as non-alcoholic
*Dram Shop is a statute that makes a business that sells alcohol or a host who serves alcohol to those who are already drunk or close to it liable for injuries to anyone injured as a result of the intoxication.
It’s important to note that these types of lawsuits can be filed provided they are done so within one year of the injury. Unlike other cases with longer time limits, Louisiana legislators opted to limit the compliance guidelines. This means all opportunities to recover medical costs, lost wages and other income losses due to a loss in the capacity to work, and pain and suffering, have small windows for recovery.
Drunk driving serves no good purpose to anyone. Those caught by law enforcement before they have had a chance to wreak havoc on others who share the roadways have a lot to be thankful for. They often realize this when they see just how catastrophic their decision to drive under the influence could have been had they not been stopped. For others, though, their disregard greatly affects people who happened to be on the same roadway and at the same time as they decided to drive under the influence.
Remember, personal injury lawsuits filed in Louisiana must be filed within one year of the date of the injury. Personal injury damages from a drunk driving accident cover medical bills, lost wages and other lost income, future costs of ongoing medical treatment, lost capacity to work due to disability, as well as pain and suffering. Contact Cossé Law Firm to schedule a complimentary consultation today to discuss your options with our motorcycle accident attorneys.