If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving alcohol, it’s important to understand the timeline surrounding a dram shop lawsuit. 

Dram shop laws allow injury victims to pursue compensation from bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other establishments in the wake of alcohol-related accidents. These laws hold businesses to a high standard for selling and serving alcohol. Continue reading to learn more about dram shop lawsuits and how they work in Utah. 

What Is Dram Shop Liability? 

Dram shop liability refers to the laws that can hold a business liable for serving alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons who later cause an accident resulting in death, injury, or property damage. Dram shop laws are implemented at the state level, so specific terms surrounding alcohol-related incidents vary depending on location. 

Utah’s Dram Shop Law 

In Utah, every licensed establishment is required to sell and serve alcohol in a safe manner. If a business fails to do so and an accident ensues, the victims and their loved ones can claim financial compensation from the establishment that served the alcohol in the first place. Section 32B-15-201 of Utah’s code specifies that a vendor can be deemed liable if drinks were served under any of the following circumstances: 

  • The patron is under the legal drinking age of 21 (a minor) 
  • They are clearly already under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • They are a known interdicted person (someone who has been court-ordered to avoid drinking alcohol) 

Any of these violations can be used as the basis for a dram shop claim. 

Utah’s Social Host Liability Laws 

Utah has an additional violation that extends to private parties. Social host liability laws state that a social host can be held responsible for any unfortunate aftermath caused by a minor under age 21. If they are an adult who knowingly serves alcohol to a minor, they can be held liable according to the law. 

Statute of Limitations

Just like any other lawsuit, a dram shop lawsuit claim has a rigorous statute of limitations. This varies from state to state, but in Utah, the legal time limit is four years from the date of the incident. This timeframe is imperative to keep in mind when seeking litigation. 

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help You Receive Maximum Compensation 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving alcohol, you deserve compensation from all responsible parties in the form of a dram shop lawsuit. While the other driver may not have the resources to cover the full extent of your injuries, those who supplied the alcohol that led to your accident may also be liable. The attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you determine where dram shop liability applies. 

We are proud to serve clients throughout Utah and have offices located in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan. Reach out today to get started and schedule your free case evaluation.