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When is a business responsible for a drunk driving crash?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

It can be hard to figure out who is truly responsible for a crash. Many times, multiple people contribute to the conditions that lead to a collision. However, fault can be quite straightforward in certain circumstances.

For example, if someone who is clearly drunk causes a wreck, their impairment is most likely the primary contributing factor for the crash. That means that the victims of that drunk driving crash can file an insurance claim against the drunk driver’s policy. In some cases, they may even need to sue the drunk driver.

The sad truth for the victims of drunk drivers is that the person who caused their crash sometimes doesn’t have enough financial resources to fully compensate the people they hurt. Sometimes, victims may have the right to hold someone other than the driver responsible. If a drunk driver was out at a bar or restaurant before the crash, you may have grounds for a dram shop claim against in the business.

What is Connecticut’s dram shop law?

For a business to legally serve alcohol to the public, they have to apply for a liquor license and then follow state laws. One of the rules about serving alcohol to the public is a requirement to monitor customers for intoxication. If a business owner or staff members note obvious signs of a customer being drunk already, they have a legal obligation to refuse that person additional alcohol.

Some businesses have a policy of intentionally over-serving drunk customers to make more money. Some wait staff know the rules but will serve someone anyway because they want a big tip. If the other person was clearly drunk and had come from a bar or restaurant before the crash, you may be able to hold the business that over-served the drunk driver responsible for their contributions to the crash.

Dram shop laws protect victims and punish unethical businesses

Serving alcohol to someone who is already visibly drunk is a dangerous decision. That person could cause a drunk driving crash. They could experience alcohol poisoning.

Given the risks involved with alcohol consumption, businesses should do everything in their power to comply with the rules of doing so legally. When a business breaks the rules, members of the public are the ones who suffer. Holding them accountable under state dram shop laws will not only compensate you financially if you win but will also teach that business (and others) an important lesson about the value of following alcohol rules.

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