Jersey Shore Personal Injury and Employment Specialists

Can you hold a bar liable for a drunk driving crash?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2023 | Drunk Driving Accidents |

A drunk driving accident is an entirely preventable occurrence. While it’s only reasonable to hold a drunk driver accountable for their actions, their insurance isn’t always even close to enough to pay for the devastation they cause.

In some situations, victims of drunk driving accidents and their families may have the right to seek additional compensation from the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver.

Dram shop laws help put accountability on businesses that serve alcohol

New Jersey is one of the states that has what’s called a “dram shop” law. Under this law, the victims of a drunk driver can seek damages from the business that sold alcohol to the driver if they served them after they were visibly intoxicated. A business can also be liable for any accidents caused by a minor they served, regardless of whether they were obviously impaired, as long as they knew or should have known their patron was a minor.

In other words, bars, restaurants and liquor stores all have an obligation to “cut someone off” when they can see that a customer is showing signs of intoxication. If they don’t, that’s negligence. It’s often possible to prove what happened based on the testimony of witnesses and the evidence from video cameras that capture the scene.

Everybody knows that driving under the influence is illegal and dangerous – but drunk driving crashes keep happening. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse by a drunk driver who was over-served, it may be time to find out more about your legal options.