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Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Jun 18, 2018 in Auto Accidents

If you are involved in an automobile accident with an intoxicated driver, it is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Most automobile insurance policies in South Carolina have $25,000.00 coverage per person injured,  which is often insufficient to even pay a person's medical bills.  However, if an intoxicated person was consumming alcoholic beverages at a bar or other establishment licensed to sell alcohol, there is an additional $1,000,000.00 in coverage that may be available. The applicable South Carolina Law:

SECTION 61-2-145. Liability insurance coverage required; on-premises consumption.

(A) In addition to all other requirements, a person licensed or permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, which remains open after five o'clock p.m. to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, is required to maintain a liquor liability insurance policy or a general liability insurance policy with a liquor liability endorsement for a total coverage of at least one million dollars during the period of the biennial permit or license. Failure to maintain this coverage constitutes grounds for suspension or revocation of the permit or license.

(B) The department shall add this requirement to all applications and renewals for biennial permits or licenses to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, in which the permittees and licensees remain open and sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption after five o'clock p.m. Each applicant or person renewing its license or permit, to whom this requirement applies, shall provide the department with documentation of a liquor liability insurance policy or a general liability insurance policy with a liquor liability endorsement in the required amounts. 

(C) Each insurer writing liquor liability insurance policies or general liability insurance policies with a liquor liability endorsement to a person licensed or permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, in which the person so licensed or permitted remains open to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption after five o'clock p.m., must notify the department in a manner prescribed by department regulation of the lapse or termination of the liquor liability insurance policy or the general liability insurance policy with a liquor liability endorsement. (D) For the purposes of this section, the term "alcoholic beverages" means beer, wine, alcoholic liquors, and alcoholic liquor by the drink as defined in Chapter 4, Title 61, and Chapter 6, Title 61. HISTORY: 2017 Act No. 45 (S.116), Section 1, eff July 1, 2017.

Editor's Note 2017 Act No. 45, Section 2, provides as follows: "This act takes effect on July 1, 2017, and any person applying for a new biennial permit or license for on-premises consumption under Title 61 after this date must comply with the provisions of this act at the time of the application. A person renewing a biennial permit or license under Title 61 after this date must comply with the provisions of this act at the time of the renewal."

Note that this coverage is not automatically available but may potentially be available, depending on the actions of the driver and the employees at the bar.  As such, it is vital that you have someone who can quickly investigate the claim and secure evidence, such as security footage, on your behalf.

If you've been injured by an intoxicated driver, call us for a Free Consultation.  Let's us protect your rights.

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