Over 10,000 people were killed in car accidents involving a drunk driver in 2015, and many more sustained serious, non-fatal injuries. These victims are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent, drunk driver that caused them harm. But first, victims should learn how dram shop laws affect their personal injury case.
Colorado’s Dram Shop Laws
Businesses should never serve alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21 or who appears to already be intoxicated. But unfortunately, many businesses do so anyways. Businesses that sell alcohol to minors or individuals that are clearly intoxicated can be held liable in the event that these customers’ injure or kill someone due to their impairment.
For example, let’s say a local bar knowingly serves a minor alcohol. After having a few drinks, the minor drives home and crashes into another vehicle, seriously injuring the driver. In this situation, the bar should have never served the minor alcohol since she is under the legal drinking age. According to the dram shop laws, the bar could be held liable for the victim’s injuries. This means the victim may be able to recover compensation from both the intoxicated driver and the bar that served her.
Colorado’s Social Host Liability Laws
It’s important to note that the dram shop laws only apply to businesses. If the minor in the example above had been drinking at a friend’s house, the dram shop laws would not be relevant, but social host liability laws could be.
A social host is anyone that serves alcohol in a private setting. Social hosts can continue to serve guests that are already intoxicated without facing legal consequences. However, they can be held liable for serving minors alcohol.
Take another look at the example above. Let’s say the underage driver had been consuming alcohol at an adult friend’s house instead of a bar. In this case, the friend could be held liable for the injuries caused by the minor’s intoxication because he shouldn’t have served her alcohol in the first place. Under these circumstances, the victim may be able to recover compensation from both the intoxicated driver and the driver’s friend.
Have you been injured by an intoxicated driver? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. But first, contact Reisch Law Firm today to speak with our team of experienced personal injury attorneys about your rights and legal options. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.