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Liability for Serving or Selling Someone the Alcohol to A Drunk Driver Who Injures You

March 22, 2013

Most people know that if they are injured by a drunk driver, they can recover damages from the drunk driver. However, what you may not know is that there may also be liability with the establishment that served or sold the drunk driver the alcohol. The law in Kentucky refers to this type of liability as “dram shop liability.”

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the drunk driver AND the establishment that knowingly served alcohol to the drunk patrons that caused the accident.

In order to collect damages from a "dram shop," several elements must be met. Dram shop laws are different for each state, but they are applicable in the state of Kentucky when accidents involve adults who are obviously intoxicated. “Dram shop” is a term for any establishment that sells alcohol or spirits. A dram shop can be a bar, tavern, liquor store, and even a restaurant. If these establishments sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated adults, the establishment may be held partially responsible for any subsequent drunk driving accidents. Some considerations for a dram shop case include:

  • Was an adult patron visibly intoxicated in a way that the server should have noticed?

  • Was the patron a minor?

  • Was the patron still intoxicated at the time of the accident?

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, an experienced injury lawyer can help you determine if someone other than the drunk driver may share liability for your injuries. If you have any questions about this type of liability, you may contact us for free confidential legal advice. I have handled cases involving drunk drivers for seventeen years and I know the laws surrounding this very specialized area of the law.