In Alabama, the Alabama Dram Shop Act is a set of laws that hold establishments that serve alcohol, such as bars and restaurants, responsible for the actions of their patrons if those actions result in injury or damage to others. These laws, also known as liquor liability laws, are designed to prevent establishments from over-serving alcohol to patrons who are already intoxicated and may be a danger to themselves or others.
Under the Alabama Dram Shop Act, an establishment that serves alcohol can be held liable if:
- They serve alcohol to a patron who is visibly intoxicated. Evidence of visible intoxication may include bloodshot eyes, stumbling, slurred speech, loud and obnoxious behavior.
- The patron subsequently causes injury or damage to someone else as a result of their intoxication.
For example, if a bar serves alcohol to a patron who is already visibly intoxicated, and that patron gets into a car and causes a car accident that injures someone else, the bar could be held liable under the Alabama Dram Shop Act. Alabama’s Dram Shop Act makes it easier than the laws in many other states for a plaintiff to establish causation. Plaintiffs need only show that the injury occurred “as a consequence” of the intoxication, rather than requiring the plaintiff to litigate whether a bartender acted reasonably.
If you are injured by a drunk driver in Alabama, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the establishment that served the alcohol to the driver, in addition to the driver themselves. This can help you to recover damages for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to note that the Alabama Dram Shop Act does not hold establishments automatically liable for injuries or damages caused by their patrons. To be successful in a lawsuit, it’s necessary to prove that the establishment was negligent in serving alcohol to an already intoxicated patron. This means that the patron was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served, and the establishment should have known that they were a danger to themselves or others.
Alcohol vendors have a legal responsibility to sell and serve alcohol responsibly. If you have been injured by a drunk driver in Alabama and believe that the Alabama Dram Shop Act may apply to your case, it’s important to speak with an attorney to understand your legal options. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to review the specific circumstances of your case and advise you on the best course of action.
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