Suing Restaurants And Lounges For Serving Alcohol To Visibly Intoxicated Patrons

The Dram shop theory of liability is a legal doctrine which essentially holds that restaurants and lounges who serve noticeably intoxicated patrons with alcoholic beverages knowing that they are soon to drive can be held liable to third parties who are injured by such drunk drivers. Drunk driving is a major problem in this country and those vendors, including specifically restaurants and lounges, who serve visibly intoxicated patrons should be held legally liable for the damages inflicted by their customers. Responsible restaurant chains and lounges train their staff not to serve those who are noticeably intoxicated. Such establishments also train their staff never to serve those they know will soon be driving if they appear to be intoxicated from having consumed alcoholic beverages. Obviously, for such a policy to have any effect, the staff of these establishments must be sufficiently trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of someone becoming intoxicated.
Over the years, our firm has handled many cases involving Dram shop claims. These cases typically involve wrongful death actions where the drunk patron left the restaurant or lounge and ran over and killed someone on the way home, either by running over a pedestrian or colliding with a vehicle by running a red light or otherwise. In order to win these cases and help the family or the victim, who sometimes may be paralyzed or suffer a traumatic amputation or some other serious personal injury, it is necessary that there be a full, complete and immediate investigation to prove that the patron/drunk driver was noticeably intoxicated and that the establishment knew or had reason to know that there customer would soon be driving after having become noticeably intoxicated. Like any other serious legal claim, it is imperative that such investigation be conducted while the facts are fresh otherwise this type of claim can be lost due to a lack of available evidence.

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