There is great awareness about drinking and driving and its dangers. However, many dram shop businesses—bars, taverns, hotels, and restaurants—serve visibly impaired drivers alcohol.
No matter how many educational campaigns and criminal penalty increases attempt to fight driving under the influence, people continue to drink and drive.
Without a doubt, drunk drivers injure and kill innocent people. DUI kills. No one on Southwest Florida roads or highways is immune or safe from drunk drivers.
Dram Shop Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents
Some people drink alcohol at home and then drive. However, very often a drunk driver consumes alcohol at a bar or restaurant. Bars and restaurants make tremendous profits from alcohol sales. Profit margins are the highest markup value in the industry.
A bar or restaurant selling alcoholic beverages to a patron to the point the customer has become drunk is obligated to stop service. Moreover, the bartender should notify management, and the patron should not be allowed to drive.
No bar or restaurant should allow a visibly intoxicated customer to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The shop should be responsible for preventable injuries and death resulting from that drunk driver. After all, the bar or restaurant actively enables the patron to get drunk by selling alcohol.
Dram Shop Origins
“Dram” or “dram shop” are legal terms which have a long history, going back hundreds of years ago to colonial times in America. Moreover, a dram shop refers to an establishment which sells alcohol by the dram. A dram was a measurement of a unit of liquid.
Among our colonial-era laws, which still exist in most States today, is dram shop liability for injuries. Damages caused by intoxicated customers a bar over serves have consequences. In most States throughout our country, dram shop laws are a powerful incentive for bars and restaurants to act responsibly and prevent drunk driving. These laws protect us from DUI hazards.
Dram shop liability today still refers to liability applying to bars, taverns, restaurants, and other commercial establishments. Selling alcoholic beverages to impaired persons who then cause injury or death by DUI creates liability.
Personal Injury Claims Under Florida Dram Shop Liability Law
Unfortunately for the Florida’s drivers and public, our Florida Legislature bows to special interest lobbyists. Alcoholic beverage makers and sellers backed bad law. Big alcohol’s special interests were able pass a law which limits dram shop liability. The law protects the bar and restaurant industry against liability.
Florida law presents challenges. Individuals or businesses selling or serving alcohol are often not liable for injuries or damages. You must prove (1) alcohol sale to a person under 21; or (2) they serve a person whom they know is a habitually addict. Accordingly, Florida’s pandering to the alcohol industry results in needless injuries and deaths.
Serving alcohol to a person under the age of 21 years is not difficult to prove, but establishing the server knows a customer 21 or older is an alcoholic can be challenging. However, through investigation, your dram shop liability lawyer may make your case.
Pursuing Justice for You Through a Dram Shop Claim
Catastrophic injuries and death resulting from drunk drivers devastate families and communities, and place all of us at risk. The expenses are huge. Future medical bills, life care planning, special education needs, nutritional needs, interventional therapies, are giant costs. Also, emotional tolls and physical pain and suffering qualify for compensation if a drunk driver causes your injuries or loved one’s death.
Contact Fort Myers injury lawyer David Harris of Harris Law to discuss your dram shop claim for a free evaluation. David is passionate for justice and has your drive for full and fair compensation. Moreover, David reviews your case and gives you an honest answer where you stand. Accordingly, if David accepts your case, then you do not pay any fees unless we win.