Newly Opened Bars Are Allowing Patrons To Get Too Drunk

When someone overindulges in alcohol, we tend to think of it as that person’s problem, and in most cases it is. However, there are times when it is the party who serves the person the alcohol who is partially responsible for anything that person does while they are drunk, which includes getting into an accident. That is because it is irresponsible to serve someone alcohol when they are clearly drunk, just like it is irresponsible to sell alcohol to minors.

That means it is possible for anyone who was the victim of a drunk driving accident to sue the bar for over-serving their patrons. In fact, the drunk driver can sue the bar for over-serving them as well in some cases. While a drunk driver bears some responsibility for their actions, it is also up to bars to be careful about over-serving their customers to the point where they get too drunk and should not be driving.

Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws are there to hold businesses liable if they sell or serve alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons who go on to cause death, injury, or property damage to someone else. As long as the business serves alcohol, they can be held liable, so the law does not just apply to bars, it can also apply to restaurants, liquor stores, and vendors at stadiums. The term dram shop comes from an ancient way of measuring alcohol, which was called a dram. Dram shop laws are enacted at the state level rather than the federal level, so each state has its own individual Dram Shop Act, which is a statute that holds establishments that serve alcohol liable depending on the circumstances.

For example, the Florida statute states that an establishment is only liable if they serve alcohol to minors or to people habitually addicted to alcohol. Most states have statutes which state that the establishment can be held liable if they serve alcoholic beverages to people that are clearly drunk, but the Florida statute does not include that distinction. Florida law also does not hold the hosts of social gatherings responsible for over-serving their guests, only establishments that sell alcohol.

Dram Shop Cases in Florida

In Florida, there are two types of dram shop cases, first party cases and third party cases.

First Party Dram Shop Cases

This is when the person who was over-served by the establishment gets hurt and sues the establishment for serving them too much alcohol. Most states do not allow this, but Florida does, however, these kinds of cases can be difficult to win because most people believe that it is the individual’s responsibility to control their alcohol consumption. This type of case is easier to win if the individual in question was minor, then jurors may believe that the establishment was being irresponsible because they did not check if the person was of legal drinking age.

Third Party Dram Shop Cases

This type of case is more common and it happens when the person who was over-served by the establishment gets into an accident and hurts someone else. The injured party can sue the establishment for serving the drunk person too much alcohol. Drunk driving accidents are the most common scenario, but the establishment can be held liable in any incident where an intoxicated person hurts someone else.