Many people enjoy dropping by a bar for a drink or two after work or on the weekends with some friends. Hopefully, they are of age and being responsible. However, what happens when a person leaves the bar intoxicated and causes an accident? Who’s responsible – the person who had too much to drink or the bar who let them leave?
Proving liability in these kinds of DUI lawsuits can be difficult. Many people, including bar owners, feel that patrons are solely responsible for choosing to get behind the wheel of their car. There are times though when drinking establishments, as well as social hosts, can be held liable.
This is where Dram Shop Laws come into play. As Alcohol Alert states, these laws “make it possible for bar owners and alcohol servers to be held financially liable if a customer becomes obviously intoxicated on their premises and subsequently injures someone or causes property damage, typically by driving drunk.”
Currently 43 states have adopted dram shop laws, including Colorado. The rules in Colorado do not apply to social hosts, but they do to establishments. So if a bar or pub sells alcohol to a visually intoxicated individual or minor and an accident occurs, they can be held liable.
Under Colorado law, a person has one year to file a drunk driving lawsuit from the time of the accident. Damages are capped at $280,810 for auto accidents that occurred after January 1, 2008.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a reckless drunk driver in Denver, Aurora, Littleton or a surrounding Colorado community, contact DUI victim attorney Mack Babcock for aggressive legal representation. These cases can be very difficult and an experienced attorney can guide you through this very trying time.
For further details regarding DUI liability and dram shop laws, visit our legal library.