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On November 16th, a 59-year-old Fayette man walked into a barroom in his hometown and proceeded to order multiple drinks while sitting at the bar. During this time, the man was served these drinks by two different bartenders. The owner of the barroom was also present.

Right before midnight, the man left the bar, got into his 2014 Ford Fusion, and drove off. Not even one mile away, the man drove off the road and began driving his vehicle on the sidewalk. There were two people walking on the sidewalk at this time. One of them, a 28-year-old man, was unable to get away from the approaching vehicle and the Ford slammed into the victim, throwing him onto the road. The driver then drove his car across the road and plowed into a brick wall. This finally stopped him from driving.

The victim was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. The driver was arrested at the scene of the fatal crash. His blood alcohol (BAC) measured .23, which is almost triple the legal limit of .08. He has been charged with death by vehicle, misdemeanor driving while impaired and misdemeanor failure to maintain lane control.

However, the driver is not the only one facing charges in this tragic accident. Both bartenders have been charged with misdemeanor selling alcohol to an intoxicated person. The owner of the bar has also been charged with misdemeanor selling alcohol to an intoxicated person and served with a civil violation of failing to supervise a permitted establishment.

Regardless of the outcome of any criminal charges against the driver and/or the owner and bartenders of the establishment where he was served the alcohol, the family of the man who was killed may bring forth civil suits against those parties for the wrongful death of their loved one.

North Carolina, like many states in the country, has a “dram shop law” which says that any establishment that serves a customer alcohol who ends up causing an accident can be held liable for that accident. In this case, one has to question how the bartenders and/or owners were not aware that the man was intoxicated, given his BAC was three times the legal limit.

Our North Carolina wrongful death attorneys have successfully represented many victims of drunk drivers and their families and have seen the devastation these fatal crashes can cause for a family. That is why our firm only represents the victims in drunk driving crashes and never the person responsible for the crash.

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