Dram shop liability laws exist in nearly every state, and are an important part of many DUI accident claims. In this blog, our West Palm Beach auto accident attorneys take a look at Florida’s dram shop liability laws, which differ from those in many other states.
Injured in a car crash? Don’t hesitate to pursue the fair compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. today.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
The legal term “dram shop” refers to an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages, including a bar, restaurant or liquor store. If you are injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, dram shop liability laws may give you the ability to hold this establishment partially accountable for the person’s intoxicated condition. Social host liability is similar, but applies mainly to homeowners and party hosts, rather than licensed businesses.
How Do Florida’s Laws Differ From Other States?
In Florida, dram shop liability only applies if the person being served is under 21, or is known to be “habitually addicted” to alcohol. By contrast, many other states extend this liability to those establishments that serve visibly intoxicated people. For a dram shop to be held liable, they must “willfully and unlawfully” provide alcohol to the minor, or must be aware of the person’s drinking problem if they are of lawful age. Some examples of this behavior include:
- Failing to ask for a minor’s ID
- Serving a minor with an ID that is easily recognized as fake
- Serving a person who gets drunk at the same bar 4-5 times per week
The language in Florida’s statutes also addresses social hosts, although not directly. The law applies to a person who “willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age” or is habitually addicted. This means that those who serve alcohol to minors at a party can be held liable for any injuries the minors suffer as a result of their intoxication.
At the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A., our West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help you seek fair compensation from all liable parties. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.