Can Party Hosts be Held Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents Under Florida Dram Shop Laws?
In a drunk driving accident case, liability for damages often falls primarily on the person who was driving under the influence. Under dram shop laws, people who have been injured by a drunk driver can hold other parties at fault.
About Liability in Drunk Driving Accident Claims
In most car accident and motorcycle accident cases, one of the drivers is found liable for resulting damages. But it is not uncommon for third parties to be partially at fault for a collision. Car companies that manufacture defective vehicles, cities that do not maintain their roads, and employers who fail to properly train their employees are all third parties that could be liable for a car accident or motorcycle accident.
In cases of drunk driving accidents, it is possible to attribute fault to the establishment where the drunk driver was served alcohol. The laws that allow this, known as dram shop laws, have varying terms in different states.
What are Dram Shop Laws?
Dram shop laws establish potential liability for third parties who may be responsible for a drunk driving accident. Mostly, these laws relate to the role of businesses that negligently supply alcohol to a person who eventually drives drunk.
Who is Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents Under Florida’s Dram Shop Laws?
The terms of dram shop laws vary between states. Florida has its own specific conditions for holding a business liable in a drunk driving accident case.
In Florida, a business could be at fault for a drunk driving accident if the driver they served was:
- Under the age of 21
- Addicted to alcohol, to the knowledge of the business
It is not a condition of Florida’s dram shop laws that a patron must have been visibly intoxicated in order for the serving business to be liable for a drunk driving accident. As long as the patron was either under 21 or had a known alcohol problem, and eventually injured another person in a collision, their level of intoxication upon purchase does not matter.
Some states’ dram shop laws include a clause that allows people to sure party hosts for negligence in a drunk driving case. The state of Florida, unfortunately, does not. If the drunk driver who was responsible for your injuries was coming from a private social event, the person who hosted the party or supplied them with alcohol cannot be liable for damages under Florida’s dram shop laws.
The Fran Haasch Law Group can represent you if you were injured in an accident with a drunk driver. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
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