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Understanding Florida dram shop laws

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Car Accidents

If you consume alcohol, you’re obligated to make responsible choices regarding transport. You hopefully think ahead when you plan to attend social gatherings, perhaps, arranging for a designated driver to chauffeur those who plan on drinking. Maybe you use an Uber or Lyft service for transport. You might be one of many Florida residents who completely abstains from alcohol when you know you’ll be driving, which is the easiest means for avoiding collisions and DUI charges.

The problem is that you might be a responsible driver who adheres to all traffic laws and safety regulations, but there’s nothing you can do about another driver’s actions. In fact, another driver may not be the only one held accountable if he or she causes a collision while intoxicated that results in your injuries. In Florida, dram shop laws may also apply.

What does that mean?

When a person has had too much to drink, he or she often presents physical symptoms. For instance, if you indulge in one too many, your speech might slur. You might also have trouble standing or walking without stumbling. Dram shop laws hold alcohol-serving establishments responsible for the drinks they serve.

If a bartender notices visible signs of intoxication in a patron but continues to serve him or her alcohol, the establishment is then at legal risk. What if you are driving along on your way home and that patron is behind the wheel of a car and crashes into you? If you suffer injuries, dram shop laws may apply because the bartender should have withheld service when the patron showed signs of intoxication.

In the aftermath of a collision involving a drunk driver

In Florida and many other states, if a drunk driver hits you and causes you injuries, you may seek legal accountability against a bartender, server, dram shop owner or a store clerk who sold or served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Drunk driving collisions often result in fatalities. If you survive your injuries, you may wind up spending time in the hospital, having to take time off work or may even need specialized daily living assistance on a temporary or permanent basis. Such care is expensive. This is one of numerous reasons why many collision survivors seek financial recovery for their losses against those deemed responsible for their injuries.



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