Dram shop laws were created to hold businesses accountable for selling alcohol to minors and intoxicated patrons. Bars, restaurants, clubs, liquor stores, and other establishments that sell alcohol can be held liable for any damage or injury caused by an inebriated patron.

Dram shop laws are implemented on a state level. These laws hold establishments responsible to properly serve alcohol. Here are five important ones that everyone should know.

  1. Selling to a Minor
    If a minor, under the age of 21, is intoxicated and causes physical injury, property damage, or death, the business that sold the alcohol can be held liable for that accident under the dram shop law. It is imperative that businesses only sell alcohol to persons of the legal drinking age or litigation can come their way.
  2. Appearing Intoxicated
    Businesses may also find themselves liable if they sell alcohol to a customer that appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the server is aware that the customer is already drunk, but serves them anyway, the business can be held accountable for any destruction caused from driving under the influence.
  3. An Interdicted Person
    Interdiction refers to the act of depriving a person the right to handle their affairs because of mental incapacity. An interdicted person is prohibited by law to be in possession of alcohol unless a health care professional writes a prescription for them. Businesses are not allowed to serve alcohol to an interdicted person under the dram shop law.
  4. Limited Social Host Liability
    In limited circumstances, the host of a party or an event can be held liable for serving alcohol to a minor who later causes harm. This only applies if the person being served the alcohol is under the age of 21. If a legal adult is served alcohol and causes damage while impaired, the host of the party cannot be found liable.
  5. Statute of Limitations
    Like most laws, dram shop regulations are controlled by a statute of limitations. In Utah, the statute of limitations on these laws is four years. If a suit is filed more than four years after the incident, the case will be dismissed. This timeframe is imperative to keep in mind when seeking a dram shop litigation. Don’t hesitate to pursue legal action if you find yourself a victim of a DUI (driving under the influence) case.

Which States Have Dram Shop Laws?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, thirty states have statutory provisions that allow licensed establishments to be held liable for selling or serving alcohol to individuals who cause injuries or death as a result of their intoxication.

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

Dram shop laws allow the victims of DUI accidents to pursue compensation from every party responsible. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving alcohol, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

We have offices throughout Utah County and West Jordan, Utah. Please contact us to schedule your free case evaluation today.