California Dram Shop Liability

41Generally speaking, dram shop laws make liquor stores and bars responsible for selling alcohol to intoxicated patrons if those patrons are involved in drunk driving accidents. In some states, even if a drunk driver has no insurance and is judgment-proof, an injured person may be able to recover damages from a bar or restaurant that served a drunk driver who was already intoxicated.

California’s Dram Shop Law

California’s dram shop law limits the liability of liquor stores and bars. California law prevents the consumption of alcohol by an intoxicated person, not the sale of alcohol to that person. Therefore, even if a bar serves an intoxicated person a drink, it is the intoxicated person, not the bar, that consumes the beverage. That makes the drunk, not the establishment, liable for damages in any drug driving accident.

Although California’s dram shop law is weak when it comes to providing protection for the general public against drunk drivers, it is strong when it comes to protecting drunk minors from being overserved. California liquor stores, bars and restaurants may be held liable if they serve alcohol to minors who are visibly intoxicated.

Drunk drivers cause injuries and death on California highways every week. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, only an experienced attorney can assess what parties may be liable for your damages. The legal professionals at TorkLaw are experts at analyzing car crash injury claims and are standing by to provide you or your loved ones with a free consultation.


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