What are dram shop laws and how do they apply in a DUI?

It isn't uncommon to go out and have a few drinks. However, this lawful act for those of age could become problematic if he or she has had too many. Getting behind the heel of a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol is not only negligent but it is also dangerous. It is an action that could result in serious accident. Those caught drinking and driving could face serious penalties. Additionally, if it is determined that another party is responsible for the driver's intoxication, that third party could also face liability as well.

Many are aware that liability is placed on a driver for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated; however, there are some third parties that could also face liability if they played a role in the driver's intoxication or knowingly allowed them to get behind the wheel of the vehicle.

When a serious or fatal drunk accident occurs, liability is not only placed on the motorist but could also be placed on the bar or alcohol retailer. These are known as dram shop laws. While these laws are designed to help victims of a drunk driving accident hold third parties accountable for the accident, these laws could also help an accused drunk driver show that a bartender or an alcohol retailer contributed to his or her intoxication and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when it was known to them that the motorist was intoxicated.

The idea of dram shop laws is that bar tenders or alcohol retailers should know the signs of obvious intoxication. When it is clear that a person is intoxicated, sales of alcohol should not occur. Additionally, these parties should know that these patrons are so intoxicated that they are a danger to themselves and others. Thus, failing to step in to prevent further intoxication or getting behind the wheel could prove partial liability if an accident occurs.

The penalties that following a drunk driving charge can be serious. It is vital to explore criminal defense options and whether or not liability could be placed on another party as well. It is important to consider defense options that could help clear his or her name and reduce or dismiss the penalties against them.

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