Arizona dram shop laws are in place to allow victims of drunk driving accidents, to not only file a claim against the at-fault driver but the establishment that overserved them as well. Drunk driving accidents can be catastrophic. If you believe you have a valid case, involving the state’s dram shop laws, call our Phoenix dram shop liability attorneys today.
A “dram shop” is derived from the way alcohol used to be measured into a dram then sold, during the 18th century in England. Commercial establishments that, as part of their ordinary course of business, serve alcoholic beverages to the public are dram shops. This includes bars, taverns, beer gardens, wineries, restaurants, etc.
The state’s dram shop laws are found under Arizona Revised Statutes §4-311, 4-312, and 4-244, which place liability on a licensed restaurant or bar in the following situations:
The term “intoxicated,” under these laws, means that the person was “inebriated to the extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired as shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.”
Dram shop laws mean that a drunk driving accident victim, or their family, may be entitled to recover damages from the bar, restaurant or store that sold the alcohol to the negligent driver. It does also mean that the victim must establish both proximate cause and that the sale of alcohol was inappropriate. Proximate cause in these cases indicates a direct relationship between the intoxication and the resulting injury or property damage.
If found liable, the commercial establishment that served the alcohol will likely have substantially more insurance coverage and assets to pay a claim compared to the drunk driver. Examples of damages a victim, or their family, may be entitled to receive compensation for in a dram shop lawsuit include:
However, there is an exception to Arizona’s dram shop law. A commercial establishment cannot be held liable if the injured individual was present at the time the alcohol was served to the intoxicated person and was aware of the person’s intoxication.
Hiring a Phoenix accident lawyer is not required, and may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you have a much better chance of succeeding in your case with an experienced lawyer by your side. Dram shop liability cases are complex, and navigating state laws to prove proximate cause can be difficult to do without a lawyer’s help. A drunk driving accident attorney will also help by alleviating the stress that comes along with battling insurance companies or taking your claim in court.
Our dram shop liability attorneys have a strong track record of securing significant compensation for our injured clients. Call (602) 726-0747 or reach us online, to schedule a free case evaluation today.