Dram Shop Liability

Arizona Drunk Driving Accidents
  • One-third of fatal Arizona car accidents involve a drunk driver. In 2008, a total of 324 motorists were killed and more than 4,700 were injured in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Arizona.
  • More than 7,300 people have been arrested by the Phoenix Police Department for drunk driving in every year since 1995.
Source: Arizona Department of Transportation; Phoenix Police Department.

Restaurants, bars and other businesses that serve alcohol have an obligation to do so in a responsible manner. When a bartender or business employee serves alcohol in excess to a patron who then causes a serious or fatal Arizona car accident, the business can be held responsible.

The car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes will aggressively pursue Dram Shop liability claims against establishments that contribute to the intoxication of a motorist involved in a serious or fatal car traffic accident.

Drunk driving accidents are a preventable tragedy. Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls it the most frequently committed violent crime in America. Too often, a DUI driver is uninsured or does not have sufficient insurance to compensation a victim for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages resulting from a drunk driving accident. An injury lawyer can pursue a claim against the liability insurance policy of a bar or other business in an effort to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.

Arizona Dram Shop Law

By obtaining a license to sell liquor or intoxicating beverages in Arizona, a bar or other business agrees to do so in a responsible manner. Under Arizona law, a business can be held liable for an accident caused by an intoxicated minor or adult. In some instances, the host of a private part may also be held liability for accidents involving an intoxicated minor.

The law is aimed at discouraging the service of alcohol to those who are already intoxicated and to people underage. The origins of the term are derived from a small unit of liquor, known as a Dram, served in establishments known as Dram Shops in 18th Century England. After a tax was imposed, many of the businesses went underground in an attempt to avoid paying taxes, leading to the term Dram Shop in reference to the illegal sale of liquor. In addition to provisions holding businesses accountable for over service of alcohol, Dram Shop laws also cover selling liquor without a license, selling alcohol after hours, serving alcoholic beverages to minors, as well as other violations of the state and federal laws regulating the sale and service of alcoholic beverages.

Arizona laws regarding drunk driving are very strict and the associated punishments for violating the laws are some of the harshest in the nation. Yet every year, bars and restaurants continue to serve drivers too much alcohol, leading to a situation where thousands of drivers are behind the wheel when they should not be. A drunk driver is not only a danger to herself but also to everyone else on the road, including those in cars, trucks, vans, on motorcycles, riding bicycles, and walking.

dram shop liability

When a driver who was served alcohol in violation of Arizona’s Dram Shop laws causes a collision which results in injuries to another, the law provides the victims with the right to make a claim for their damages. This can actually be one or more claims depending on the facts of the accident and the injury that resulted. The establishment that served the alcohol can be held liable and in some cases, the driver can be as well. In even other cases, a claim may be made against the victim’s own insurance company to provide the victim with full and adequate compensation after an accident.

Many people do not realize that they may be entitled to make a Dram Shop claim because they do not realize that the other driver was intoxicated or that the other driver was served in violation of the laws by a bar or restaurant. These claims are time sensitive, meaning they must be filed within a certain period of time following a crash, or they will be waived and no recovery will be possible. To learn about whether you have a Dram Shop claim, you should consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to determine your rights.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., our legal team dedicates themselves to the representation of accident victims who are injured by the negligence of another. We take cases against individual drivers, restaurants, bars, drinking establishments, and insurance companies, to name a few, after a drunk driving crash occurs. We offer all accident victims a free telephone consultation by calling our toll free number at (855) PHX-LAWYER or our local number at (602) 819-5191. If you have been hurt in an accident, make sure your legal rights are protected. Call us today and let us help you obtain a recovery you deserve.

If you have been hurt in a drunk driving accident, call us at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.

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