Liquor Liability and Dram Shop Laws Lawyers Protecting Clients in Phoenix
Liquor liability, or dram shop law, defines the liability of nightclubs, bars, liquor stores, and restaurants that knowingly serve an “obviously intoxicated” person who then goes on to injure a third party. This law comes up most often in drunk driving accidents. However, a liquor liability claim can also be pursued if you are assaulted by an intoxicated person at a bar and the perpetrator leaves the scene.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 4-311, “Obviously Intoxicated” is defined as:
Inebriated to such an extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired, and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.
Dram shop laws can be extremely helpful in the event of a severe injury or death caused by a drunk driver. Not only can you go after the drunk driver’s insurance company for damages, but you can also make a claim against the establishment that over-served the driver. This can be a huge factor in making sure you are compensated for ALL of your damages.
What Are Alcohol Vendors and Bartenders Liable for Under Arizona’s Dram Shop Liability Laws?
It is not always a simple matter to seek damages against those who enable an intoxicated individual or continue to serve alcoholic beverages while ignoring their patron’s obvious intoxication. However, an experienced law firm such as Moore Injury Law is well-versed in the complexities of dram shop liability laws and may be able to help an injured person pursue fair compensation for the reckless act of allowing a drunk driver out onto the street or permitting belligerent intoxicated individuals to threaten other patrons.
Under state laws for liquor licenses and dram shop laws, Arizona’s bars, restaurants, and other establishments (and their employees) which serve alcohol may be found liable for injuries under the following grounds:
- Sales or distribution of alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
- Sales or distribution of alcohol to a minor.
- Sales or distribution of alcohol without a liquor license or with an expired license.
- Sales or distribution of alcohol outside of the lawful hours.
In underage drinking cases, a vendor that serves or sells alcohol to a minor can be held liable for any and all physical injury and/or property damage caused by the minor as a direct result of intoxication.
Those who possess a liquor license for serving alcohol in Arizona are expected to keep to a certain level of common sense and public care. It is anticipated that some patrons of dram shops and other establishments may drink enough to become intoxicated. However, if that inebriation puts a patron, an employee, or the public at risk, then the establishment and its employees could be held liable for any resulting injury from drunk driving accidents or other drunken acts.
If your Arizona injury attorneys are able to show proximate cause linking the commercial establishments selling alcohol to an assault, workplace accident, car or motor vehicle accident, either the business or their insurance company may be forced to help pay medical expenses to the victims with a well-crafted dram shop liability case.
Does a Social Host Have Exposure to Liability in Relation to an Intoxicated Person?
Under Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 4-301, social hosts are not responsible for the actions of their above-drinking-age guests that consume too much alcohol and cause injuries to a third party. The statute provides for specific limitations of liability for guests of the legal drinking age only. This statute is silent regarding the social host liability of serving minors. Therefore, social hosts that provide alcohol to minors may be responsible for physical damage and property damage caused by the minor due to their intoxication.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports dram shop laws. According to MADD, Dram Shop Laws benefit society by:
- Reducing alcohol-related crashes.
- Increasing publicity of the impacts of over-serving.
- Decreasing excessive and illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Increasing establishment liability without decreasing personal responsibility.
These benefits will only be realized if you bring your claim.
When to Hire a Liquor Liability Attorney?
If you or a loved one was injured due to a drunk driver or assault at a bar, you should call Moore Injury Law right away. A thorough investigation of your claim is extremely important. Interviewing witnesses is critical. You’ll want us to do this as soon as possible before they forget what happened.
Moore Injury Law has experience with numerous dram shop cases. We will investigate your claim rigorously, looking to prove that the perpetrator was “obviously intoxicated.” We could get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
To speak to a law firm experienced in dram shop law, please consider contacting the Phoenix office of Moore Injury Law to schedule a free consultation.
What is the Cost of a Liquor Liability Lawyer?
Moore Injury Law works on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if we win your case by settlement or trial. There is no up-front fee. We are paid a percentage of what we recover for you.
If you believe the staff of a dram shop, bar, or restaurant establishment serving alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated patrons had proximate cause in a drunk driving accident or instance of intoxicated assault which resulted in injuries caused, it may be possible to see these drinking establishments held liable under dram shop laws. To speak to a lawyer about a potential claim in dram shop liability cases or if you are seeking personal injury legal services, please contact the attorneys of Moore Injury Law today.
We always provide a free consultation. Call us anytime at 602-795-6605.