Motorist Killed After Being Struck By Drunk Driver
A 31-year-old motorist was killed when his vehicle was hit by a suspected drunk driver in south Charlotte, NC on Saturday night. 39-year-old Jimmy Gallarday has been charged with driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license, felony death by vehicle, and two counts of felony serious injury. According to the police, his vehicle crossed the double yellow line and struck 31-year-old Juan Octavio Reyes’ vehicle head-on shortly after 11 p.m. Reyes was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gallarday, his passenger, and a woman riding in Reyes’ vehicle were also injured, but none of those injuries were life-threatening.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Drunk Driving Accidents?
Obviously, drunk drivers themselves bear the majority of the responsibility when their reckless decision to drive drunk ends up hurting others. Clearly, there is no good excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking enough to exceed the legal limit. However, it’s also important for alcohol vendors to do what they can to reduce incidents of drunk driving.
In North Carolina, all businesses that serve alcohol have a legal obligation to stop serving customers once they become visibly intoxicated. Additionally, these establishments must make sure to ask for ID and refuse service to anyone under the age of 21. Social hosts, such as the host of a party, can also be held liable if they serve alcohol to a minor who causes a drunk driving accident. Failure to follow these rules is a violation of dram shop laws, which allow businesses and social hosts to be held liable for damages if they served a drunk driver who was visibly intoxicated or underage.
For most drunk driving cases, the circumstances behind the accident may not be immediately available. However, if investigations by law enforcement and drunk driver victim lawyers determine that the perpetrator had been drinking at a bar, restaurant, or other location where alcohol was being served, then the person or establishment that served the perpetrator could be considered negligent.
If you or someone you love has recently been injured or even killed after being hit by a drunk driver, it’s important to understand your family’s legal options. An experienced crime victim lawyer can help you understand your rights and begin taking action on your behalf if you have a case.