If someone gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking and ends up causing an accident, many people wonder if the bar that served the driver alcohol is partially responsible for the injuries and/or deaths resulting from that accident. Under New York dram shop laws, New York businesses are not allowed to serve alcohol to people who are visibly intoxicated, under the age of 21, or habitual drunkards. By violating state liquor laws, bars and restaurants can open themselves up to liability in cases involving drunk drivers.
Dram shop laws allow drunk driving accident victims and their families to recover damages from the establishment that sold liquor to the drunk driver by filing a personal injury claim. However, establishing this liability can be difficult.
First, the plaintiff will have to show that the drunk driver was in fact intoxicated through police reports and blood alcohol test results. The plaintiff will also have to establish that the bar, restaurant, or store sold the driver alcohol and contributed to the driver’s intoxication. The difficult part comes when the plaintiff has to show that the driver was visibly intoxicated when the alcohol was sold to them. The term “visibly intoxicated” is often left to interpretation, but common signs of intoxication may include bloodshot eyes, slurring of speech, and inability to properly walk.
If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover damages from the bar or restaurant that sold the driver alcohol before the accident. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file a dram shop claim against the seller.