The risk of an alcohol-related accident is heightened during the holiday season since many people are frequenting parties and bars to celebrate. In New Mexico, a culpable party may be held liable for an accident they caused under traditional theories of negligence law. However, what is less well known is that in certain very limited circumstances the person or establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol that caused their intoxication may also be liable, under the state’s Dram Shop Act.
In New Mexico, an injured party will only be able to seek damages under the Dram Shop Law if they can establish three very important facts. First, the injured party must show that the establishment sold the culpable party alcohol when they were already drunk. Second, the plaintiff then must establish that the person’s drunkenness was “reasonably apparent,” at the time they were served. Finally, it must be shown that the bartender serving the culpable party should have known or did know that the person was drunk.
New Mexico Officials Speak Out Against Drunk Driving
New Mexico Senator Udall, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Bernalillo Sheriff Gonzalez have commenced their annual drunk driving campaign. According to a local news report, the officials have released their 2015 plea to drivers to drive safely and sober. The New Mexico officials released their message shortly before Thanksgiving and reminded drivers to “drive sober or get pulled over.”
As previous blog posts have touched on, New Mexico government officials are pushing for more education and stricter penalties for those individuals who drive while intoxicated. Information compiled by MADD reflects that it is likely that almost 100 million American drivers will be traveling over the holiday season and almost 30,000 of those drivers and passengers will be injured in an accident – a large portion of which will involve alcohol. The peak season for drunk driving accidents is during the time between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day.
In 2014, 166 individuals were involved in fatal accidents where one party was drunk, and this year alone 94 people have already perished due to drunken driving across the state. Senator Udall and Sheriff Gonzalez are aware of the prevalence of fatal drunken driving accidents in the state and are hopeful that their commitment to reducing these numbers will manifest change. The Sheriff’s Office will implement more DWI checkpoints and commission for DWI patrols. These measures will be taken in combination with the government official’s plans to implement the Driver Alcohol Detection System, which will require drivers to test their blood alcohol level before driving their car.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunken Driving Accident in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a New Mexico drunk driving accident, you should contact the Fine Law Firm to discuss the merits of your case. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in establishing all responsible parties and the appropriate claims that can be brought against each. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary damages for the injuries and damages you incurred as a result of the accident. Contact one of the dedicated attorneys at the Fine Law Firm to schedule your free initial consultation at 505-889-FINE.
More Blog Posts:
Maine Supreme Court Affirms Jury Verdict Denying Damages to Injured Neighbor, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2015.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Announces New Technology, Soon to Be Required on All Vehicles, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 10, 2015.