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When drunk drivers wreak havoc on the roads, the consequences can be devastating, resulting in severe injuries, emotional trauma and financial burdens for the victims. In many cases, these drivers carry minimal insurance coverage, which proves grossly inadequate to address the extensive costs incurred by their reckless actions. As a result, innocent individuals find themselves grappling with the overwhelming burden of medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, property damage, and lost wages, all while contending with the physical and emotional toll of their injuries.

In such dire circumstances, pursuing avenues of recourse becomes imperative to alleviate the financial strain and secure justice for the victims. One potential avenue worth exploring is the initiation of a “Dram Shop” claim against the establishment or individual who served alcohol to the intoxicated driver before the accident. By holding these parties accountable for their role in contributing to the driver’s impairment, victims can seek compensation for their losses and compel establishments to exercise greater responsibility in serving alcohol. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Augusta, Athens or Atlanta, contact the attorneys at Burnside Law Firm today.

What Is a Dram Shop?

The concept of “Dram Shops” originated from establishments such as bars, taverns, and liquor stores that historically sold liquor in small quantities, often referred to as a “dram” – a term denoting a small measure of whiskey. However, with the rise of automobile usage and the corresponding increase in drunk driving incidents, the legal landscape began to evolve, prompting states to grapple with the question of whether establishments that overserved intoxicated patrons could be held liable for resulting injuries. As a response to these concerns, virtually every state in the United States has enacted some form of Dram Shop law, which aims to assign vicarious liability to establishments that negligently contribute to instances of drunk driving.

Georgia Dram Shop Liability Laws

The development of Dram Shop laws reflects a societal recognition of the grave dangers posed by drunk driving and the need to hold accountable those who facilitate such hazardous behavior. These laws seek to establish a framework for imposing civil liability on establishments that serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals, particularly when there is knowledge or foreseeability that the intoxicated individual will soon be operating a motor vehicle.

In the state of Georgia, the statutes governing Dram Shop liability are clear and unequivocal. Georgia law expressly prohibits the service of alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated, recognizing the inherent risks associated with such actions. According to O.C.G.A. § 3-3-22, civil liability arises when alcohol is served to a noticeably intoxicated person with the knowledge that they will imminently engage in driving. Under Georgia’s Dram Shop Act, as elucidated in legal precedents such as Griffin Motel Co. v. Strickland, 223 Ga. App. 812 (1996), establishments have a duty to exercise reasonable care and diligence in discerning the signs of intoxication and refraining from serving alcohol to patrons who pose a risk to themselves and others on the road.

To establish liability under Georgia’s Dram Shop laws, certain criteria must be met, including but not limited to:

  • The recipient of alcohol must be noticeably intoxicated.
  • There must be knowledge or foreseeability that the recipient will soon be driving.
  • The provider of alcohol failed to exercise reasonable care in assessing the situation and refraining from serving the intoxicated individual.

By adhering to these legal standards and principles, victims of drunk driving accidents can pursue justice and seek compensation for their injuries and losses while also fostering greater accountability among establishments that serve alcohol.

Contact Burnside Law Firm If You Were injured in a DUI Accident in Augusta or Athens, GA

If the two essential elements of Dram Shop liability are met – namely if the server knew that the customer was noticeably intoxicated and anticipated that the customer would imminently operate a motor vehicle – then the server may indeed bear responsibility if the intoxicated customer proceeds to drive and causes harm to another individual. Establishing these criteria is crucial in determining liability and pursuing legal recourse against negligent establishments contributing to drunk driving incidents. At Burnside Law Firm in Athens and Augusta, our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of successfully litigating Dram Shop actions against bar owners and other establishments that have breached their duty of care. We understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to advocating fiercely on behalf of injured victims.

If a drunk driver has injured you or someone you know and you believe that the establishment that overserved the driver could be held liable, it is imperative to seek legal guidance promptly. Our dedicated attorneys offer free consultations to assess the details of your case and provide expert advice on the best course of action. By taking swift action and asserting your rights, you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don’t hesitate to contact Burnside Law Firm in Augusta or Athens, GA, for compassionate and competent representation in your Dram Shop claim. Your well-being and justice are our top priorities.

Contact Us


2919 Professional Pkwy

Augusta, GA, 30907

Phone: (706) 432-8320


325 North Milledge Avenue

Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

We have recovered tens of millions in settlements and verdicts

The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have over 30 years of collective experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of injured people recover the compensation they deserve and need in order to begin putting their lives back together. This list is just a sample of the recoveries we have obtained for some of our clients here and during our time at our former firm, Burnside Wall LLP. Obviously, success in obtaining significant judgments and settlements for other clients is no guarantee of success in your case. Each case must be evaluated and handled based on the individual merits of that particular case. To discuss the facts of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.

Commercial Vehicle/Death


Auto Accident/Death


Workplace Accident/Leg Injury


Medical Malpractice/Surgery Complication


Medical Malpractice/IV Procedure Error




No fee unless we win

Meet The Team

Thomas R. Burnside III Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas R Burnside III

Thomas R. Burnside III is a personal injury lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered injury as a result of automobile collisions, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, work related accidents or other causes. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law at both the trial and appellate court levels, Attorney Burnside has represented people with brain and head trauma...

Meet Thomas Burnside
Garon Muller Personal Injury Attorney

Garon Muller

Garon Muller is a trial lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured or damaged through the negligence or recklessness of others, including automobile collisions, workplace injuries, premises injuries, or defective products. Before beginning his practice in the representation of injured individuals, Mr. Muller served the community as an Assistant District Attorney...

Meet Garon Muller
Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor is an experienced trial attorney licensed to practice law in Georgia and South Carolina. At the Burnside Law Firm, Robert devotes his practice to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness and represents those who have been injured in automobile collisions or tractor-trailer accidents; because of a slip and fall; and in other general negligence actions.

Meet Robert MacGregor

Ashton Revollo

Ashton is a trial lawyer in Augusta, GA who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered serious injuries or damages due to the negligent or reckless conduct of others, including automobile wrecks, job-related accidents, unsafe premises, or defective
products. Before beginning his practice, Ashton obtained his J.D., at Emory University School of Law, where he gained valuable courtroom experience as an intern assisting the District Attorney for DeKalb
County. After his time at Emory, Ashton received experience as a trial attorney at a respected personal injury firm in Atlanta before moving to Augusta. Over the course of his career, Ashton has assisted deserving clients in recovering millions of dollars in injury cases throughout Georgia.

Meet Ashton Revollo

Our Client Testimonials

Our Client Reviews

Burnside Law Firm

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 38 reviews

Erin Wren

After my car accident they helped me every step of the way! They were up front and answered any questions I had! They negotiated the insurance and got a higher settlement than was offered! I would definitely use them again!

Debbie Walker

In November 2017, I was in a car accident and I decided to seek out legal assistance. I chose to go with Burnside Law Firm, LLP because of their five star rating. My inital consultation was with attorney, Mr. Garon Muller. I knew immediately that I wanted Mr. Muller to take my case. His professionalism and expertise in personal injury made my decision easy. Mr. Muller maintained his professionalism throughout my case. He kept me updated on a regular basis via telephone or email. He was always available to me when I call. I did not have to wait 24 hours to get a call back from him. I would greatly recommend Mr. Muller and the Burnside Law Firm, LLP.

Rick Estep

Burnside Law Firm is who you want to represent you. Mr. Muller came to our house for a free consultation without hesitation. He guided us and overcame every obstacle we encountered. He secured the maximum insurance limits for us and we couldn't be more happy. If you are injured, DO NOT attempt to recoup compensation without the expertise of a trusted, skilled and able law firm to be your voice. THANK YOU MR. MULLER!!!

Alexander Hughes

Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm makes client satisfaction his priority. Mr. Muller made sure that I had a lucid understanding during every discussion. He never made a decision without my input and made me feel like we were partners. Garon Muller was very professional and push for the maximum dollar amount from the insurance company. Me and my family considered ourselves blessed to have been represented by Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm. We highly recommend Garon Muller and Burnside Law Firm! Burnside Law Firm staff are exceptional and exceeded our expectations.

Lynn Eldridge

I have known the Burnside family for many years. Recently Thomas was most helpful in getting my check following an auto collision. I highly recommend their firm.

Damien Williams

I definitely felt comfortable in there hands really good people.

Jacob Clements

Very very good law firm. Went above and beyond to make things right. Highly reccomend.

Barbara Huskinson

Burnside Law did what they said they would do. Garon Muller was great in communicating and looked out for my best interest in getting what was fair in my settlement. I would recommend Burnside to anyone.

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    2919 Professional Pkwy

    Augusta, GA, 30907

    Phone: (706) 432-8320


    325 North Milledge Avenue

    Athens, GA, 30601

    Phone: (706) 227-4264