On April 17, 2019, at the annual awards luncheon for Mothers Against Drunk Driving - North Texas (MADD), the organization awarded Michael Grossman its Attorney Service Award. This award recognizes the lawyer "who has shown dedication working to save and protect lives on local roadways through their contributions to their community through time, action, and talents."
We are proud that one of the nation's most renowned organizations in the fight to stopping drunk driving honored Mr. Grossman's decades of work holding bad bars accountable and fighting on behalf of their victims.
Why Is This Award Such A Big Deal?
To appreciate what this award means to Michael Grossman and his law firm, it helps to reflect on MADD's history and impact. 50 years ago, drunk driving was just something that adults did at the end of a fun night out. There was little stigma or awareness of the horrible consequences of drunk driving accidents. In short, a major social problem hid in plain sight, leaving shattered families to pick up the pieces.
Why did this situation change? There are a number of factors, but any honest assessment of why this happened must start with MADD's work over the last 40 years. With MADD leading the charge, drunk driving deaths plummeted, our roads are safer, and drunk driving is no longer a laughing matter. MADD-championed initiatives, like raising the drinking age to 21, lowering the legal threshold for drunk driving to .08, and changing our culture's views of drunk driving, represent a commendable record of progress in addressing this societal problem.
When MADD says that someone has done something to help in the fight against drunk driving, it's more than just another award.
The Fight Against Drunk Driving In Texas Continues
While the last 50 years brought many changes, when it comes to how people view the role of bars in the state's drunk driving problem, attitudes are still stuck in the 1960s. It's not uncommon to hear people say that "a bar's job is to get people drunk," just as they scoffed at the seriousness of people driving drunk 50 years ago. This attitude doesn't just misunderstand the law; it neglects the fact that bars are the first line of defense against drunk driving accidents.
That's where Michael Grossman's dram shop litigation comes in. For decades, Michael Grossman and his attorneys filed suit against literally hundreds of bars that broke alcohol service laws, in order to hold them accountable for the injuries and deaths that resulted from their actions. Grossman Law Offices carries on this work to this very day. At this very moment, our attorneys have dozens of cases pending against bars that unlawfully served alcohol, which resulted in a serious injury or death.
As a consequence of Michael Grossman's efforts, countless bars, restaurants, and other alcohol providers either went out of business or cleaned up their acts. Either way, they can no longer let loose drunks out onto the streets, which saves lives.
While Mr. Grossman and his attorneys are proud of the work they do to combat drunk driving, Texas still leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. There's clearly more work ahead to hold negligent alcohol providers accountable and to educate the public about the dangers of bad bars. We know that MADD won't stop fighting until our roads are safe from this scourge, and neither will Michael Grossman. This work will not end until, as our partners at MADD say, there are "no more victims."