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Can a bar or liquor store be held accountable for a DUI crash?

Drunk driving accidents are often devastating. Because drunk drivers have slowed reflexes and impaired risk-assessment and decision-making skills, the crashes they cause happen at high speeds and may be head-on collisions.

Considering the catastrophic damage that can be caused in these accidents, it is important that victims and their families receive the maximum compensation they deserve. In some cases, this means filing a lawsuit against parties in addition to the driver. This is where laws like Florida's dram shop law comes into play.

Dram shop laws acknowledge the role that establishments like bars and liquor stores play in DUI crashes by making these parties liable for damages caused by drunk drivers under specific circumstances.

In Florida, there are dram shop laws in effect, but they are more limited than the dram shop laws in other states. According to the dram shop laws in this state, a person who provides alcohol to someone can only be held accountable for injury or damage if the person to whom they provided alcohol was:

  • Known to be under the legal drinking age of 21
  • Known to have an addiction to alcohol

In other states, people who furnish alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated can also be held accountable, however, that is not the case in Florida.

Understanding dram shop liability laws can be important for anyone injured by a drunk driver. Should these elements be in place, DUI crash victims and their families can seek additional damages to maximize the compensation they receive. 

We know that money is not going to undo a drunk driving accident or replace a loved one lost in this type of crash. It can, however, cover the considerable expenses people incur as a result of a serious car accident. Money can also be a way to acknowledge non-economic damages and reinforce the message that negligent and reckless parties can be held liable for their actions.

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