What Are The Liquor Liability Or Dram Shop Laws In New York?

The New York State Dram Shop Act, which is found in New York’s general obligations law, is a state-wide act or a state-wide law that basically applies anywhere in the state of New York. Both New York City, including the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Rockland County. The Dram Shop act applies no matter where the accident occurred, so long as the accident occurred in New York. Basically, the dram shop act makes the serving of alcohol, mainly a commercial server such as a bar or restaurant, it does not really apply to social hosts, but any kind of bar or restaurant that violated the liquor laws by either serving someone who is underage, or someone who is obviously intoxicated and out of control. in other words, under the Dram Shop Act, anyone who caused or increased the intoxication of a person illegally, is responsible for their actions. The serving establishment is liable for the effects from the alcohol of that person and any damages that were caused by the actions of that intoxicated person. It can apply to any kind of case that may cause harm. For example, an assault, drinking and driving, boating accidents, and any situation where the scenario of an individual was served alcohol illegally whether it being because they were under the age of twenty-one or because they were already intoxicated, that will trigger the dram shop liability law. If there is any violation of the alcohol beverage and control law in the state of New York, which causes or results in an accident, makes the commercial entity, such as a bar or a liquor store who served the intoxicated person, liable for their actions. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have successfully represented accident victims in drunk driving accidents all over New York.

Who Can Additionally Be Held Liable In An Alcohol Related Accident? In an alcohol related accident, anywhere in the state of New York, there are a number of different entities that can be held responsible. Obviously if it is a car or truck accident case, the driver of the car or truck and their insurance company is responsible. But in a lot of these cases, unfortunately the intoxicated driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover the extent of the damages that were incurred. In that situation, that person who was injured in a drunk driving accident can also look to their own insurance company for something called Supplemental Underinsured Motorist Benefits.

In addition, typically what will happen is a person will be arrested for driving while intoxicated, then we will get the arrest records and at some point before we are able to figure out where they were drinking either because the person who was injured was in the same car as them and knows who they were prior to the accident, or through the discovery process. Many times we can tell based upon the BAC known as blood alcohol content. This information is gathered from the individual’s criminal records.

In other words, if you show a 0.18% BAC, we know based on standard metabolic rates that they would have had a certain number of drinks in a certain number of hours. We can backtrack that to see what their BAC was at the time that they were at the bar or a liquor store or wherever they were, and we can establish that usually through our forensic toxicologist. It should show that they were actually intoxicated and when precisely they were served alcohol. Many times with underage drivers, for example, the intoxication is not as much of an issue because the sale alone to a minor is against the law. So whoever sold the alcohol becomes responsible for compensating the accident victim.

Get Information on DWI Problem in New York and Compensation from Drunk Driving Accidents or call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (212) 858-0503 and get the legal answers you are seeking.

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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