Picture of John Day

§60.3 Effect of Voluntary Intoxication

The Case : Kirksey v. Overton Pub, Inc., 739 S.W.2d 230 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1987).

The Basic Facts: Plaintiffs' decedent died of alcohol overdose and his parents sued the bar where the consumption occurred.

Note: the incident occurred before the Legislature passed T.C.A. Sec. 57-10-101 et seq.

The Bottom Line:

  • "Voluntary intoxication does not relieve one of his own negligence. Highland Dodge, Inc. v. Trent, [445 S.W.2d 903 (Tenn. 1969)], Schwartz v. Johnson, [ 280 S.W. 32 (Tenn. 1925)]." 739 S.W.2d at 235.

Other Sources of Note: Morgan v. State , No. M2002-02496-COA-R3-CV, 2004 WL 170352 at *8 (Tenn. App. Jan. 27, 2004) (an intoxicated person's conduct "must be measured against the conduct of an ordinary, reasonable person rather than an ordinary and reasonable intoxicated person). Although voluntary intoxication will frequently give rise to a finding of comparative fault if there is a causal relation between the intoxication and the injury, there are several cases which have held that the amount of fault that should be assessed is a question of fact for the jury. See, e.g., LaRue v. 1817 Lake Inc., 966 S.W.2d 423 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997).

After an accident, many injury victims and their families want more information on the accident and their legal rights. Consequently, many of them have found their way to these pages. While we are happy you are here, please understand Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law was written to be a quick, invaluable reference for Tennessee tort lawyers. While the book provides the leading case for more than 300 tort law subjects and thousands of related case citations, it is not a substitute for personalized legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

Rather than researching these legal issues alone, we urge you to contact one of our award-winning lawyers who can sit down with you, review your case, answer your questions and clearly explain your rights and your options in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced attorneys handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we win. If for any reason you are unable to come to our office, we will gladly come to you.

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866.812.8787.

The foregoing is an excerpt from Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, published by John A. Day, Civil Trial Specialist, Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, recipient of Best Lawyers in America recognition, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, and Top 100 Tennessee Mid-South Super Lawyers designee. Read John’s full bio here.

To order a copy of the book, visit www.dayontortsbook.com. John also blogs regularly on key issues for tort lawyers. To subscribe to the Day on Torts blog, visit www.dayontorts.com.

Client Reviews
Everything was great. You guys are a great representative. I was satisfied with everything. Truly appreciate John Day and his hard-working staff. Jamar Gibson
We thought that you did an excellent job in representing us in our lawsuit. We would recommend you to anyone. Mitch Deese
The Law Offices of John Day, P.C. is, without a doubt, the best in Nashville! They treated me with the utmost respect and tended to my every need. No question went unanswered. I was always kept informed of every step in the process. I received phenomenal results; I couldn't ask for more. I would definitely hire The Law Offices of John Day, P.C. again. Anthony Santiago
I would definitely recommend to anyone to hire John Day's law firm because everyone was helpful, made everything clear and got the job done. I am satisfied with how my case was handled. June Keomahavong
It's been a long battle but this firm has been very efficient and has done a remarkable job for me! I highly recommend them to anyone needing legal assistance. Everyone has always been very kind and kept me informed of all actions promptly. Linda Bush
I had a great experience with the Law Offices of John Day. The staff was very accommodating, and my phone calls/emails were always responded to in a timely manner. They made the entire process very easy and stress-free for me, and I had confidence that my case was in good hands. I am very happy with the results, and I highly recommend! Casey Hutchinson