Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drive Thru Barn Not The Greatest Business Model...And A Lesson About The Importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists' Coverage

From the "incredibly stupid idea" department...

According to a recent Texas lawsuit, Don's Fly-Thru Beer Barn was a drive-in bar "complete with carhops where drivers enter the establishment by driving their vehicles into a building and then they are sold alcohol while still inside their car." Worse yet, patrons were "allowed to drink and drive right out of Don's Fly Thru Beer Barn with their alcoholic beverages in hand."

Brilliant business model, eh? (It's up there with the "Bag O'Glass" childrens' toy made famous by the Saturday Night Live skit with Dan Aykroyd aka "Irvin Mainway"). All kidding aside, a patron there was allegedly sold a "30 pack" of beer (seriously-there is such a thing?), drank enough of it there to get hammered, and drove away...killing one motorist and paralyzing another.


A lawsuit waiting--no SCREAMING--to happen, and for good reason. If the facts of the lawsuit are true, this despicable establishment should be sued out of existence and shut down. But here's the problem. Most likely, this joint probably had no liability insurance to cover its stupidity. And I'd also wager that neither did the drunk driver. Thus. the families could be stuck with a 7 figure, uncollectible verdict against these miscreants.

The teaching point here is that there are many irresponsible businesses out there like drive thrus, bars, and strip clubs, who sell alcohol irresponsibly to people who are equally moronic when they get behind the wheel. The only way you can protect yourself as a motorist is to buy as much uninsured and underinsured motorists'(known as UM/UIM) coverage as you can afford to buy. This is the most important coverage you can buy for your auto policy. Why? Because it allows you and your family to pursue a claim against your own company when someone with little or no insurance injures you.


Most insurance agents do a poor job of emphasizing the importance of this coverage. And here's a secret you won't likely hear from your agent: you can probably upgrade your standard, lousy "full coverage" $100,000 auto policy to $500,000 or even $1 million in UM/UIM coverage for about $150 per year.

That's about half the cost of a monthly 30 pack...


Freddie said...

Don't believe that everything written in the filing was actual facts. That business is a convenience store with a drive thru lane. Beer is only allowed to be sold in packages to go, just like beer purchased in a grocery store. You are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages on the premises, and that law is enforced by the local police department as well as the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The attorney suing the establishment is lying by calling it a "bar".

Brian said...

Thanks for the response. I tried to emphasize that these were the allegations in the lawsuit, that, if true, make this establishment unsafe. But do you know: did the purchaser drink alcohol on the premises? (this was not addressed in your response)

Freddie said...

I don't have direct knowledge of that incident but I have been to that business and several others like it.

I do know that if it were my business, I would have a video surveillance system and could prove that I didn't allow anyone to drink on my premises.

If the purchaser did drink on the premises, he should have been charged with a crime (misdemeanor in Texas), and if an employee witnessed someone breaking the law on the premises they should have reported it to the police immediately.