N.C. bar ordered to pay $1.7M in fatal DUI
A heartbreaking drunken-driving crash in Charlotte that critically injured a young couple and killed their unborn child and the intoxicated driver spotlights a set of laws designed to prevent bars and restaurants from serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons.
Matt Eastridge and his wife, Meredith, who was six months pregnant, were driving home on Oct. 29, 2010, when police say David Huffman —who had a blood-alcohol content almost three times the legal limit and was driving more than 100 mph — slammed into their car. Huffman, 25, was leaving Eddie's Place Restaurant and Bar in south Charlotte, where he had been served at least 10 drinks.
This month, a Charlotte jury returned a $1.7 million verdict against Eddie's Place, finding that the restaurant was negligent in serving alcohol to a person whom it knew or should have known was intoxicated.
Matt Eastridge, 32, said he was “disgusted” when he learned that Huffman had been served “the equivalent of 15 drinks in two hours.”
Rick Pinto, attorney for Eddie's Place, said Huffman was served 10 drinks over a two-hour and 10-minute period. He said restaurant employees arranged a ride home for Huffman with another patron who lived in his apartment complex. “He accepted it and then went and drove his own car anyway,” Pinto said.
Pinto said an investigation by the Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board found that Eddie's Place had not served alcohol to Huffman after he was “visibly intoxicated.”
Similar laws, known as dram-shop laws, are on the books in Pennsylvania and in some form in all but seven states.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- Pope Francis’ lack of familiarity with United States unusual
- Erika wanes as Tropical Storm Fred forms in Atlantic
- Obama inches closer to veto-proof support for Iran nuclear deal
- Supreme Court can resolve Kentucky county clerk’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to gays
- Motive in ambush of Houston area deputy remains unknown
- Obama administration developing sanctions against China over cyberespionage
- Postal Service falls short of slower mail delivery standards
- University of Texas removes statue of Confederate President Davis
- Memorial service for slain Virginia journalists brings call for action
- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer open to interest rate hike