What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores, and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages and liquor. These laws deal with the liability of establishments that sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who then cause death or injury as a result of drunk driving accidents or other drunken behavior. The laws are designed to protect the general public and hold establishments accountable for irresponsibly serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated patrons.
In plain English this means that establishments that serve alcohol have a duty to protect the public from drunk driving and other alcohol-influenced behavior. If a man visits a sports bar and the bar keeper keeps serves him a seventh beer although he is obviously intoxicated, and an hour later the man drives away from the bar and causes a Kansas City DUI accident that kills a young woman, the sports bar bears some of the responsibility for the woman’s death.
To file a lawsuit under a dram shop act, you must prove:
• The vendor furnished alcoholic beverages to someone he or she knew or should have known was noticeably intoxicated. For example, patron had slurred speech, erratic body movements and smell of alcohol on the breath. The patron must be impaired to the point of incapacity.
“For purposes of this section, a person is "visibly intoxicated" when inebriated to such an extent that the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction. A person's blood alcohol content does not constitute prima facie evidence to establish that a person is visibly intoxicated within the meaning of this section, but may be admissible as relevant evidence of the person's intoxication.”
• The vendor knew or should have known this noticeably intoxicated person was going to drive a motor vehicle after consuming the alcoholic beverages
Who can be held liable under dram shop law?
• Night clubs
• College Fraternities
• Liquor Stores
• Any establishment that serves alcohol
The Kansas City car crash attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys help victims of motor vehicle collisions in Kansas and Missouri, including those who have been senselessly injured by a drunk driver. If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a Missouri drunk driving accident, contact Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys at 888-348-2616.
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