While most people would assume only a drunk driver is responsible for causing injuries in an auto accident, the Missouri and Illinos Dram Shop Acts also allow for direct actions against those who sold the alcohol under certain circumstances.
Bars, nightclubs and restaurants can be held liable in a Dramshop Action if they knowingly served visibly intoxicated customer alcohol and that customer laters injures someone. While the Dramshop Act allows for recovery, there is a very high burden of proof. The law mandates that the bar or nightclub must knowingly serve alcohol to a person who through his or her actions is visibly intoxicated, something that may be hard to actually prove in a court of law. It is not enough that a person who is legally intoxicated over the .08 BAC limit, the patron must act intoxicated and the server must ignore the obvious intoxication in order to serve one more drink.
At Holland Injury Law, our attorneys have been very successful pursuing bars and nightclubs who have over-served patrons, leading to tragic results. We have poured over hundreds of hours of video, retained the finest toxicologists in the country and conducted dozens of depositions to help bring some measure of justice to our clients.
A civil settlement does nothing if it does not change behavior. As part of our last settlement, we insisted that the responsible bar conduct additional training on identifying intoxicated patrons on the anniversary date of the accident. To their credit, the nightclub continues this vital training. The insurance adjuster for the nightclub also requested a copy of our mediation powerpoint presentation to show to its other insureds to demonstrate what can happen if training is not followed. See our web page for more information about Drunk drivers.
At Holland Injury Law, we strive to make the world a safer and better place wherever we can. Call us at 314-888-5946 with any questions.