Everyone knows that it is both dangerous and unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, this still doesn’t stop everyone from doing so. That said, if you were injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to hold the driver, as well as the establishment that served them alcohol liable under New York’s dram shop law. Please continue reading and reach out to our dedicated Rockland County drunk driving accident lawyers to learn more about New York’s dram shop law and how it may apply to your case.
How Does New York’s Dram Shop Law Work?
The purpose of New York’s Dram Shop Law is to deter alcohol vendors from selling alcohol to people who are underage or visibly intoxicated. The Dram Shop Law is found in Section 11-101 of the New York General Obligations Law, and it states that any person who is injured by an intoxicated person has a right of action against any person who unlawfully sold, delivered, or gave away alcohol to the intoxicated person. To establish a claim under the Dram Shop Law, you must prove four elements. They are as follows:
- You were injured by an intoxicated person
- The defendant (the alcohol vendor) unlawfully sold, procured, or assisted in procuring alcohol for the intoxicated person;
- The intoxicated person was either under 21 years of age or visibly intoxicated at the time of the sale or procurement;
- The sale or procurement of alcohol caused or contributed to the intoxication of the person who injured you.
The most challenging element to prove is usually the visible intoxication of the customer. This means that the customer showed signs of intoxication that were observable by a reasonable person, such as slurred speech, staggering, or bloodshot eyes of alcohol.
Don’t make the mistake of pursuing a personal injury claim against an intoxicated individual or the establishment that served them without a competent attorney in your corner. These cases are notoriously complex, as they often involve both civil and criminal elements, and should only be handled by an experienced lawyer. Mitchell J. Schroeder, P.C. has fought on behalf of drunk driving accident victims for decades, and we are prepared to fight for you as well. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case. Our consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by simply reaching out to our legal team.