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Understanding dram shop liability

Too many of the Ocala clients that we’ve worked with here at the King Law Firm have to discover what it is like to deal with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. When you are the victim of a drunk driver, the foremost question in your mind after why someone would choose to drive after drinking may be who could have contributed to the at-fault driver’s drunken state. While it is important not to overlook a person’s own accountability in such a situation, the question may still linger as to whether or not the person or establishment who helped get him or her drunk should also share some of the liability.

The statutes which assign liability to third parties following a drunk driving accident are known as “dram shop laws.” The term dram shop liability refers to colonial-era taverns that sold alcohol by the dram. Today, all 50 states in the U.S. legally prohibit people and places from allowing someone to drink and then potentially drive. Florida’s dram shop law can be found in Title XIV of the state’s statutes. It states that a provider of alcohol may be held liable for car accidents due to drunk driving if they knowingly served one habitually addicted or to a minor.

The application of dram shop liability may seem tricky, especially considering that establishments aren’t empowered to refuse that someone drive home. They can, however, choose to limit the number of drinks they serve. Party and event hosts that know the driver can, however, assert their influence to keep one from driving after a heavy drinking session. If such action never took place, you could potentially have a dram shop liability claim against any of these parties.

For more information on assigning liability following a car accident, continue to look through our site.

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