The purpose of most dram shop laws is to encourage bars to stop serving alcohol to patrons who are clearly intoxicated and could pose a serious risk to others if they were to get behind the wheel of a car. Dram shop cases, therefore, are usually to assist an injured third party. As a result, an injured party may receive compensation from a bar for over-serving the drunk driver who caused the car accident.
However, there is no specific statute in the state of South Carolina that bars dram shop claims from being brought forth to be reviewed by a judge. Under certain circumstances, the driver in a dram shop case may also have legal options they could pursue.
A Driver’s Party in Dram Shop Cases
In the context of dram shop litigation, any claim made by the allegedly intoxicated driver is referred to as a first-party dram shop case. These cases are extremely hard to prove since most judges and juries believe that an adult who is of legal age to consume alcohol should be held responsible for their own actions.
In order to prove a first-person dram shop case, the patron who was overly served must prove that the bar or restaurant acted recklessly. This means they must provide evidence that the bar knowingly served them when they were clearly intoxicated and chose to ignore the life-threatening risks associated with over-serving alcohol.
However, there is one caveat to these first-person dram shop cases. If a bar either knowingly or unknowingly over-serves a minor who then wrecks with another driver, the minor may be able to sue the establishment.
These specific variations of dram shop cases may be easier to win and prove because the action of serving the minor was illegal to begin with. In either scenario, it is essential to contact a personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of these types of dram shop cases.
Contact a Lawyer About Your Dram Shop Case
If you were in a DUI-related car accident because you were over-served at a bar or restaurant, please reach out as soon as possible. While first-party dram shop cases are hard to negotiate successfully, having a seasoned professional on your side may make the process that much easier. Contact the Christmas Law Firm to schedule your consultation on your dram shop case.