Dram shop liability laws make those who sell or provide alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated persons or minors responsible for the harm those persons cause as the result of a motor vehicle accident or other accident. These laws were created to provide a financial disincentive for liquor license holders to serve alcohol to those who are already obviously intoxicated, thereby reducing the incidence of drunk driving. If you have been injured by an intoxicated person, you may have a personal injury case against the bar or restaurant that served that person alcohol.
Proving a Dram Shop Case in Illinois
These laws vary by state, and some states do not have them at all. In Illinois, dram shop liability laws are strict and impose comparative negligence for all those who sold alcohol to an intoxicated person throughout a night. To prove a dram shop liability case in Illinois, the plaintiff must show that:
- The defendant sold the patron the alcohol
- The alcohol caused the patron’s intoxication (which could be foreseen by the defendant)
- The plaintiff has damages
- The plaintiff’s damages were caused by (at least in part) the patron’s intoxication
Dram Shop Liability and Minors
Because it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors, the laws pertaining to dram shop liability incidents and minors are the strictest. Not only can bars and restaurants be held responsible for injuries caused to other people by the intoxicated minors, there is also liability for injuries to the minors themselves. At Ankin Law Office, our attorneys are skilled in negotiating and litigating a wide variety of personal injury cases including those involving dram shop liability. If you believe you have a case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.