Family Sues Hotel For Serving DUI Driver Alcohol

There are legal statutes known as Dram Shot laws that allow for a restaurant, bar, or other venue that serves alcohol to be sued if one of their patrons is afterwards involved in a DUI. Most, but not all, states have something similar to a Dram Shot law. In California, the family of a man killed by two drunken drivers is suing the hotel that served them the alcohol, as the West Hollywood Patch reports.

Eliezer Malahi, 58, of Hollywood, California, was struck by two vehicles in the late afternoon of August 15, 2015 after her got out of his vehicle in the 300 block of North Crescent Drive. Beverly Hills police officers called to the scene found Malahi unconscious and began to administer CPR. Unfortunately, Malahi was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

48-year-old Sue Yong Sohn of Irvine and Tony Sun Jae Jung of Santa Clarita were implicated in the accident. Jung has since passed away and Sohn was arrested in October of 2015 at Los Angeles International Airport as she awaited her one-way flight to Seoul, South Korea. She had purchased the ticket the previous day. In 2015, Sohn was charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run driving resulting in the serious injury or death of another person, driving on a suspended or revoked privilege because of a DUI conviction and driving with a privilege that was suspended or revoked due to a failed blood alcohol test.

On June 12, Sohn pleaded no contest to a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

The family of the deceased Malahi has filed a lawsuit implicating Sohn, the estate of Jung, and the hotel in which the two were drinking on the day of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel served the equivalent of approximately three bottles of wine to Sohn and Jung. Most of the alcohol was consumed by Sohn. Sohn was later seen stumbling and slurring her speech. The valet refused to retrieve her car and offered her a taxi, which was declined. Jung was able to get the vehicle 30 minutes later and the pair drove off.

About 150 feet from the hotel, Jung got out of the driver’s seat and allowed Sohn to take control of the vehicle. Jung got into another vehicle and the pair drove off. About a half-mile away, Sohn struck Malahi and shortly afterward, so did Jung.

According to the lawsuit, the hotel staff failed in their obligation to ensure that neither Sohn nor Jung would be able to drive while intoxicated.

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