It was closing time when the bar told its customers to leave. One patron had been drinking for the whole evening and was showing signs of intoxication, talking loud, blood shot eyes, and slurred speech. Despite these signs, the bartender told the customer to leave. He got up from the table and moved his way to the parking lot where he climbed into his car and left the parking lot.
Without realizing his headlights were off and weaving all over the road, this drunk driver rear ends a family’s car and kills the entire family. This tragic tale is unfortunately a familiar occurrence in New Mexico and the reservation communities and one that plagues the innocent motorists traveling our roads and highways.
At Barudin Law Firm, we have been litigating these liquor liability cases for over 20 years. We have had success in shutting down two (2) bars in Gallup, New Mexico and recovering large settlements from these bars for the devastated families. We sued an intoxicated attorney in Santa Fe and the bars where he was served for killing our client who was a pedestrian crossing the street.
Sometimes these cases are referred to as “dram” shop cases, which is a claim against the bars, the bartenders, the owners, the managers, and the personnel who knew of the drunken customer and did nothing to prevent him/her from driving away in their car. In litigating these liquor liability cases, the Barudin Law Firm uses an expert in alcohol service to testify as to the failures of the bar and its employees to assess a customer’s intoxication, and to review and testify as to the failure of the bar or casino to train its personnel in safe alcohol service. We also use a toxicologist to testify as to the drunk driver’s alcohol content, the rate of absorption of the alcohol over time, and the blood alcohol content at the time of the collision.