Drunk driving accidents can be devastating. While fault typically rests with the driver under the influence, some people wonder if bars and restaurants could be held responsible for overserving a patron. Florida’s dram shop law may allow victims to pursue compensation from these establishments.
Florida dram shop law
Florida's dram shop law holds establishments accountable for serving alcohol to individuals who are “habitually addicted” to alcohol, or minors.
To hold a bar or restaurant liable, it must be proven that:
- The establishment served alcohol to a person who was “habitually addicted” or a minor; and
- The intoxication was a proximate cause of the drunk driving accident and any subsequent injuries.
This can be a significant barrier to recovery. In most cases, bars and restaurants are not responsible for resulting drunk driving accidents, even when the driver was visibly intoxicated. In order to prevail on a claim, the plaintiff would have to prove that the establishment knew the person is “habitually addicted” to alcohol. The bar or restaurant could easily argue that they didn’t have sufficient evidence of alcohol addiction.
If the establishment is accused of serving a minor driver, they may be able to claim the minor furnished a convincing fake ID.
Generally, plaintiffs have an easier time recovering compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company—but there are always exceptions. If you believe that a bar or restaurant is partially responsible for causing a drunk driving accident, your personal injury attorney can review your claim and explain potential sources of compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, talk to the experienced Sarasota, FL accident attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.