TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

N.C. bar ordered to pay $1.7M in fatal DUI

Daily Photo Galleries

By USA Today
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
 

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

Most-Read Nation

  1. Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado
  2. Over 3 years, extended federal leave adds up to $775M
  3. Earth heads for record 2014
  4. West Virginia University warns students over riots
  5. Suspect in Va. disappearance charged in rape
  6. Revised Ebola guidelines stress full gear, training
  7. EPA hopes grants will reduce Lake Erie algae
  8. GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
  9. Congress examines NSA official’s part-time job
  10. Officials: 500M financial records hacked
  11. Navy civilian goes on trial for diverting $2M to brother of his boss
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.