Liquor liability, or Dram Shop law, defines the liability of night clubs, bars, liquor stores and restaurants who 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:

Dram Shop Liquor LiabilityInebriated 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.

Alcohol Vendors and Bartenders are Liable for:

  • 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 property damage caused by the minor as a direct result of intoxication.

Social Host Liability

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 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) Support Dram Shop Laws

According to MADD, Dram Shop Laws benefits to society by:

  • Reducing alcohol-related crashes
  • Increasing publicity of the impacts of over-serving
  • Decreasing excessive and illegal consumption of alcohol
  • 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 to prove the perpetrator was “obviously intoxicated.” We can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.

What is the Cost of a Dram Shop 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.

We always provide a free consultation.  Call us anytime at 602-795-6605.

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