Yarborough Applegate Honors Charleston PD Hero at MADD Event
At our June Law Enforcement Recognition Dinner, long-time MADD SC supporter and Captain level event sponsor Yarborough Applegate Law Firm presented their Dram Shop Justice Award for the second year.
The 2023 Dram Shop Justice Award—which attorney David Lail debuted at last year’s inaugural event—was given to Officer Zach Azari of the Charleston Police Department. Lail created the award to honor an Officer who has been relentless in their commitment to victims of drunk driving by identifying irresponsible establishments that break the law by over-serving alcohol and putting drunk drivers on our roads.
“Officer Azari has been instrumental in identifying irresponsible alcohol sellers in Charleston and his work has truly been life changing for victims of drunk driving,” said Lail.
That truly describes Oﬃcer Azari who also was awarded the Enforcement Hero of the Year MADDY. Since joining the Charleston Police Department Traﬃc Division in 2019, he has been laser-focused on impaired driving enforcement. Last year alone, Officer Azari made a staggering 110 DUI arrests. His tenacity has prevented serious collisions and saved countless lives in Charleston. Additionally, he has earned numerous advanced training certiﬁcations related to impaired driving enforcement and accident reconstruction, and has been an active Walk Like MADD Lowcountry committee member since 2021.
“The Dram Shop Justice Award that Yarborough Applegate now awards annually is a great aspect of our recognition dinner,” said MADD Regional Executive Director Steven Burritt. “There are so many aspects of what can go into be a great enforcer of impaired driving laws, but investigating the crash in a way that is going to serve victims down the line is a really important one that isn’t talked about as often.”
Dram shop cases are those involving the illegal and unsafe sales practices of an alcohol establishment. Law enforcement officers can certainly play a role in making sure establishments are held accountable when they violate the law and their policies. Sometimes the outcomes of dram shop cases are mandating safer alcohol service standards—an outcome that protects countless people from future harms.