Who can I sue for my drunk driving accident in Missouri or Kansas?
Dram shop liability laws have been enacted in most states, including Missouri, that provide a means of holding alcohol servers accountable and responsible for injuries and damages arising out of drunk driving collisions caused by the intoxicated drivers the restaurants and bars have served. The strength of dram shop laws, in other words the legal exposure of negligent alcohol sellers and providers, varies from state to state. Dram shop laws provide a strong incentive for alcohol providers to use discretion when serving alcohol and therefore can be instrumental in helping to prevent serious injuries and death resulting from drunk driving collisions. Kansas is one of only a handful of states that have not enacted dram shop laws. Drunk driving accidents are responsible for a high percentage of serious auto accident injuries and fatalities and the trend is toward dram shop liability and it may be time that Kansas gets onboard.
Dram shop liability laws hold alcohol servers responsible for harm that intoxicated or underage patrons cause to other people (or, in some cases, to themselves). These laws are established at the state level through common law, legislation, or both. States' dram shop laws vary from state to state, with alcohol sellers in different states exposed to varying degrees of liability. Dram shop laws can be particularly important in preventing alcohol problems. The few studies that have been done to date on dram shop liability laws' impact on the alcohol serving environment and on alcohol-related injury indicate that these laws can be effective.