Dram Shop Laws and Cases
Dram shop laws are statutes that may hold an establishment serving alcohol liable for any damages or injuries caused by the intoxicated individual. Alcohol used to be sold in “dram” units in the 18th century, which is where the term “dram shop” originates. Most states have dram shop laws enacted, and most vary greatly. Dram shop cases involve an individual filing a lawsuit against an institution selling or serving alcohol due to negligent over-serving.
In some states, dram shop laws protect the institutions selling alcohol against liability – except in certain circumstances such as the knowingly serving of alcohol to a minor. In other states, dram shop laws may make it easier to file a successful lawsuit against the establishment that over-served alcohol.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Catering Company After Receiving a DUI Charge
If you attended a catering event, then received a DUI charge as a result of over-serving, then you may wish to file a lawsuit against the company. Filing a lawsuit against a catering company for over-serving deals with first-party dram shop cases, which involves the overly intoxicated individual filing a lawsuit against the establishment serving alcohol – in this case, the catering company.
Some states prohibit first-party dram shop cases altogether unless there was a special circumstance such as the serving of alcohol to a minor. If you live in a state that allows first-party dram shop cases, it is advised to consult with an attorney immediately. To have a successful lawsuit, you must prove that the catering company knowingly and negligently served alcohol that resulted in DUI. Proving that the catering company was liable may be difficult even if you do reside in a state that allows first-party dram shop cases; jurisdiction usually holds the intoxicated individual responsible for his or her own actions. Contact an experienced DUI lawyer, like one at the Law Office of Daniel Wright, to help you fight these charges as the details of your case may be complex.
Can Injured Persons File a Lawsuit Against the Catering Company?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a drunk driver that was served by a catering company, then you may have rights to file a lawsuit against the company. Injured persons suing establishments for over-serving patrons are considered third-party dram shop cases. Since states have various legislations on dram shop laws, the injured person may have to prove different causes of liability. Most states allow third-party dram shop cases, but the injured person usually must show liability through the negligence, or recklessness of the establishment that served alcohol.