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Can I Sue A Bar For A Drunk Driving Accident?

Torem & Associates

Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. Thousands of people are killed or injured in drunk driving accidents each year across the United States. The intoxicated person not only takes his life into his hands but he risks the lives and health of everyone on the road when he chooses to get behind the wheel. Because of the risk to the public, California takes a very serious stance against drunk driving.

As Christmas and New Year’s Eve approach, the number of drunk drivers on the road is expected to increase. Many of these drivers will be hitting the road after a holiday party. If that is the case, can you hold the bar or host responsible if the drunk driver causes an accident that injures another person?

Dram Shop Laws

In some states, bars and social hosts can be held liable for damages if a drunk driver causes an accident with injuries. States that have enacted dram shop laws set forth limited circumstances in which a bar, restaurant, social host, or another establishment that serves alcohol may be sued for damages in a DUI accident case.

For an establishment or host to be held liable, most states with dram shop laws require that the person knowingly continued to serve alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person. In a dram shop state, if you can prove the establishment or social host continued to serve an intoxicated person, you may be able to hold the establishment or social host responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Is California a Dram Shop State?

Unfortunately, California is NOT a dram shop law state. California does not take such a strict view of a server’s liability in a drunk driving accident as some other states do. In most cases, you cannot sue the bar, restaurant, social host, or another establishment for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person who then leaves and causes a DUI accident. However, there is an exception.

If a person serves alcoholic beverages to a person who he knew or should have known was a minor, that person may be held liable for damages caused by the minor. For example, if you host a New Year’s Eve party and allow your son’s friend to drink beer and he causes a car crash on his way home, you could be held liable for damages.

Call A Fresno DUI Accident Attorney

If a drunk driver injures you, you deserve to be compensated for your losses, damages, and injuries. You should not be required to pay for another person’s bad choice.

Our DUI accident attorneys are here to protect your legal right to receive a fair and full settlement. Call Torem & Associates at (888) 500-5000 to schedule a free legal consultation. You may also chat with a representative online or use our convenient online contact form to get more information about accident claims. Before you agree to a settlement, get a free case evaluation from an experienced attorney to make sure you are receiving a fair offer from the insurance company.


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