What You Need to Know About Liquor Laws and Third-Party Liability
Recognizing that a bar or restaurant that overserves a patron should be held accountable if that patron harms another person due to their intoxication, several states have implemented “dram shop laws.” Dram shop laws impose liability on an establishment that serves alcohol to a patron that then causes a drunk driving accident or another type of injury to another person.
Do All States Have Dram Shop Laws?
While most states throughout the U.S. have some form of dram shop laws, not all of them impose third-party liability on establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages.
States that do not have dram shop laws include:
- South Dakota
While Florida does have dram shop laws, they are considered quite protective of establishments. Individuals who are injured by an intoxicated person are strongly encouraged to speak with a local attorney who is familiar with the laws. Without the help of an attorney, a successful lawsuit against a bar or restaurant may be challenging.
What Are Florida Dram Shop Laws?
The Florida Statutes allow a person to file a lawsuit against a person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a minor or someone who is addicted to alcohol that causes harm as a result of their intoxication. The establishment may be held liable for any injuries or damage caused by their intoxication.
What Are Examples of Other Dram Shop Laws?
While Florida only imposes liability in cases where the person was under the legal drinking age or was habitually addicted to the use of alcohol, other states allow a person to file a claim for damages under slightly different circumstances.
For instance, in Arizona, a bar or restaurant may face liability if they knowingly serve alcohol to a person who is “obviously intoxicated” or they are a minor. Illinois is less protective over establishments. The state allows a person to sue a licensed liquor establishment for causing the intoxication (selling or providing alcohol) to the person who caused them harm.
What Are the Most Common Types of Dram Shop Law Cases?
One of the most common types of dram shop laws is a drunk driving case. Depending on where you live, you might be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver and the establishment that sold them alcohol. In states like Florida, however, a bar or restaurant will only be found liable in cases where the drunk driver was underage or was habitually addicted to alcohol.
Contact Our Office to Learn More
At Mase Seitz Briggs, we provide experienced representation for individuals who have been injured due to another person’s wrongdoing. Our lawyers can help you understand your rights, including if you can hold the bar or restaurant that overserved the person responsible for your injuries.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident or another alcohol-related incident, contact our office at (844) 627-3529 to schedule a free consultation. We have been offering experienced representation for over 25 years. Get the representation you deserve now. Call our office to get started.