Lawsuits arising from DWI charges are generally against the driver of the vehicle. But in this case, the suit is against a strip club in Texas that served the driver, Erasmo Ramirez, too much alcohol.
The problem for the club, Rick’s Cabaret, is that they allegedly served alcohol to Ramirez after he became intoxicated. The proof, plaintiffs say, is in their policy.
Rick’s Cabaret makes entertainers pay a ‘house charge’ to work in the club, alleges the complaint. Entertainers sell drinks to earn ‘credits’ toward the charge which purportedly encourages them to over-serve customers.
That could be a violation of Texas’s Dram Shop law, which prohibits licensed alcohol vendors from serving visibly intoxicated patrons.
Dram shop laws hold alcohol sellers accountable for drunk driving accidents if they serve visibly intoxicated patrons who later injure others as a result of their drunkenness. To prove a claim the plaintiff has to show that the bar or liquor store actually served the driver when they were already visibly impaired.
That can be difficult to prove since the victim likely wasn’t in the bar at the time and bartenders or liquor store employees are often the only witnesses in the case.
But if a store policy tends to encourage employees to sell as many drinks as possible, that can be used as evidence that employees also over-served this particular patron.
Rick’s Cabaret has not been served with the lawsuit, reports Houston Press, but that doesn’t mean a DWI related claim isn’t coming. Now might be a good time to consider a different employee incentive system.
If you are facing DUI charges, do not attempt to handle them on your own. Contact an experienced Fort Bend county DUI defense attorney at your earliest convenience in order to have the best chance of successfully fighting your Texas DUI charges.