In Dram Shop Laws – Improving Public Safety, dram shop expert witness Maj. Mark Willingham of Alcohol Solutions, LLC, writes:
A foreseeable and preventable tragedy unfolds several times a day somewhere in the United States. Over fifteen thousand people are killed and thousands more are seriously injured in impaired driving crashes in the United Sates each year. Even more shocking is that half of these deaths and injuries can be attributed to drivers who were coming directly from a beverage license premises where they were over-served or allowed to over-consume alcohol.
Beverage alcohol is the only universally available consumer product that has the capacity to cause changes in the consumer’s emotional state, his or her cognitive ability, gross and fine motor skills, and can diminish the drinker’s ability to make rational decisions. Beverage alcohol is widely sold and consumed in businesses that are primarily accessible through the use of personally operated vehicles creating a reasonable expectation that many customers will also drive those vehicles away from the bar or restaurant. Many will be under the influence of the intoxicating effect of the product and unable to safely operate those vehicles. At least 80 million trips are made annually in the United Sates by drivers with a BAC over .08.