DRAM SHOP LIABILITY ATTORNEY
MAXIMIZING YOUR COMPENSATION REGARDLESS OF INSURANCE COVERAGE
Apart from the drunk driver, a person or company who served alcohol to a drunk driver can also be liable under dram shop law to the victims of a DUI accident. (See Utah Code Ann. § 32B-15-201.) Bars, taverns, clubs, restaurants and other businesses have an obligation to stop serving alcohol to their customers in some circumstances. For example, a bar cannot serve alcohol to a patron who is apparently under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If it does, and the patron injures a third-person, the bar is also liable under dram shop law for the injuries or death of the third-person. Similarly, anyone who serves alcohol to a minor is liable to a third-person who is injured as a result of the minor becoming intoxicated. These laws apply whether the intoxicated person injures another in a car accident or in some other manner.
Whether company or person is liable under dram shop law requires significant investigation into the facts surrounding the service of alcohol. The investigation typically requires talking to servers, the intoxicated person and other individuals who witnessed the service and consumption of alcohol. It also typically involves getting documentation of alcohol purchases from the company who served alcohol and the intoxicated person.
The purpose of dram shop law is to protect the public from alcohol related injuries and to ensure compensation for victims of alcohol related accidents. Because servers of alcohol can be liable for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons, they have an incentive not to over-serve their patrons. This provides an added measure of protection because not only are consumers required to consume responsibly, but servers are required to serve responsibility.
Further, the injuries caused by DUI accidents are sometimes times so severe that the drunk driver does not have enough car insurance to pay for the damage. Businesses who serve alcohol are required by law to have a significant amount of insurance to pay for injuries caused by improper service of alcohol. This provides an additional avenue from which seriously injured victims can receive compensation.
We are experienced in handling DUI accident and dram shop cases. If you or some you love has been injured in an alcohol related accident, we express our condolences. If you have questions about what legal claims you have, contact us for a free consultation.