Alcohol-related accidents can be traumatic, but dram shop laws in Utah offer injury victims a powerful legal option to receive compensation.
Dram shop laws hold establishments responsible to properly serve alcohol. Today, we are taking a closer look at how these laws work in Utah.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability allows a car accident victim to pursue compensation against a bar, tavern, or restaurant for providing a drunk driver with alcohol. These laws are implemented at the state level, so each gets to decide the terms surrounding alcohol-related incidents.
Violations of the Dram Shop Act
Section 32B-15-201 of the Utah Code specifies that a vendor is responsible for injuries and damages in a DUI accident if the drinks were served under the following circumstances:
- The patron is under 21
- They are already under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- They are a known interdicted person
Utah Social Host Liability Laws
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nine states, including Utah, have social host liability laws that are applicable to minors. These laws extend dram shop liability to cover social hosts who serve alcohol to minors at their own private parties. A social host cannot be held responsible for damages caused by an intoxicated adult, only a minor under age 21.
A lot of elements come to play in these cases, so here is an example. Suppose Jane, a 20-year-old, attends a party hosted by her 23-year-old friend, Lucy, and liquor is served. If Jane causes an accident on the way home from the party, Lucy can be held liable by the victim that was involved in the crash. In this scenario, Jane would not be able to seek damages from Lucy, even if she was injured. Only the third-party individual can seek damages in an under-the-influence car accident.
Statute of Limitations
Like any other civil lawsuit, dram shop laws are controlled by a statute of limitations. This serves as a legal time limit in which someone can pursue legal action. The statute of limitations for dram shop laws in Utah is four years from the date of the incident.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A dram shop liability lawyer can help determine if an establishment or person breached their civil responsibility in some way that directly contributed to the accident or injury. Here are some ways this breach can occur:
- Serving alcohol to a patron who was already drunk
- Exceeding the cap amount
- Not requesting proof of age
- Serving an underage patron
- Providing alcohol after closing time
A lawyer will work for you, protect your rights, and seek maximum compensation from all responsible parties.
Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
Dram shop laws in Utah allow the victims of DUI accidents to pursue compensation from every party responsible. If you or a loved one have been injured in an alcohol-related crash, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you receive the justice you deserve.
We have offices in Saratoga Springs, Orem, Provo, and West Jordan, Utah. Reach out to receive your free case evaluation today.