Bars, restaurants, and other establishments that overserve alcohol to their patrons may be responsible for providing compensation if their actions lead to an accident. For example, if you were injured as the result of a drunk driver, there is a possibility that the individual may have been overserved. A qualified premises liability attorney could help you hold the party who supplied the alcohol financially responsible for damages.
Let an experienced Orangeburg dram shop liability lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda help you seek compensation in your case. Schedule a consultation today to help you get started.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability refers to lawsuits against sellers of alcohol – such as bars, restaurants, and pubs – that overserve their patrons. While many individuals are familiar with the concept of suing a drunk driver, fewer are familiar with this area of law. If a bar or restaurant overserves a customer who then gets behind the wheel, the establishment could potentially be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
Criminal Statutes that Impact Liability Cases
South Carolina does not have specific dram shop statutes like other states do. As an Orangeburg dram shop attorney could further explain, the right to sue under these principles arises out of common or case law. However, certain statutes do exist that may help prove a breach in the standard of care.
Pursuant to South Carolina Code § 61-4-580(1), it is prohibited to sell alcohol to individuals under the age of 21. If an establishment violates this statute in addition to overserving, they could be held responsible for any ensuing accidents, as well as potential criminal charges under dram shop liability theories.
Similarly, pursuant to South Carolina Code § 61-4-580(2), the sale of alcohol to a person who is intoxicated is also against the law. Violating this section fits squarely within the civil definition of dram shop liability. A conviction under either of these statutes may help establish fault against the bar or liquor store.
Social Host Liability
Social hosts who serve other adults are generally not liable for a resulting accident the same way a business might be. However, if the social host intentionally serves those under the age of 21, they may be responsible for the harm that results.
Evidence Required to Prove an Establishment is at Fault
A successful legal outcome in these types of cases can often be challenging for unrepresented parties or even attorneys unfamiliar with these unique scenarios. To establish dram shop liability in Orangeburg, the attorney must prove that there was a breach in the duty of care by overserving a customer and that the violation resulted in an accident. To do this, the injured person and their attorney may present evidence such as, but not limited to:
- Video evidence of the overserving
- Depositions of the bartender or server who provided the alcohol
- The drunk driver’s own testimony about how much they were served
- Eyewitness testimony as to how much alcohol was served
- Proof that the driver’s intoxication caused the accident
- Criminal convictions related to the incident
These types of evidence, and others, could be extremely beneficial when pursuing compensation for damages following an incident resulting from too much liquor, beer, or wine being served.
Call an Orangeburg Dram Shop Liability Attorney for Help Pursuing Compensation
Businesses that sell alcohol should be held responsible when they overserve individuals who cause harm or injuries to themselves or others as a result. However, this is a unique aspect of the law that generally requires the knowledge of a practiced Orangeburg dram shop liability lawyer. At Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, we have the experience to handle your case properly. Contact our firm today to schedule a time to discuss the specifics of your incident and whether you could be owed compensation.