Understanding dram shop liability

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Car Accidents

Bartenders and other workers that serve alcohol in Connecticut have a big responsibility. When customers drink too much and become intoxicated, they could potentially injure someone outside of the bar. That’s why licensed alcohol servers have to be ready to deny customers a drink rather than over-serve them.

Dram shop laws

Dram shop laws are state regulations that apply to all establishments where alcohol is served. These laws allow victims of intoxicated bar patrons to sue the establishments where the patrons were over-served. That means that businesses and servers that over-serve customers could be liable for damage that those customers do later on.

Liability for drunk customers

A common scenario where dram shop laws would come into play is in the case of a drunk driver. Let’s say a man walks into a bar, drinks for a couple hours and becomes intoxicated. He then drives his car and causes a crash that injures another person. The injured victim of that crash may decide to sue the drunk driver, the bar where the drunk driver was a customer and the specific bartender that served the drunk driver.

Dram shop liability can be complicated

It may be difficult to prove that a bar should be held responsible for a subsequent car accident injury in some cases. While a customer may have been intoxicated before they were served, the injured victim will have to prove that the bartender knew that. The victim may also need to show evidence that the bartender knew that the drunk customer was going to be driving.

Businesses that serve alcohol may be able to lower their chances of being sued by training their staff on the signs of intoxication. Many establishments post signs stating that they do not serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated customers.


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