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Dram Shop Laws

Attorney Daniel VillalobosAuthor: Attorney Daniel Villalobos

Q: What is Dram Shop Law?
A: Several states allow for an injured person to seek compensation from a third party — such as a bar or club — that provided alcohol to someone who then caused an alcohol related accident.

Q: What is Florida’s Dram Shop Law?
A: Florida Statute 769.125. Liability for injury or damage resulting from intoxication. A person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person of lawful drinking age shall not thereby become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such person, except that a person who willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person.

Q: What does Florida Statute 769.125 mean in layman’s terms?
A: It means that any establishment who willfully and unlawfully gives alcohol to a minor under the age of 21 or provides alcohol to a known habitually addicted person can be liable for any injuries sustained by the drunk minor or the drunk addict or other people who are injured by the drunk minor or drunk addict.

Q: What if someone is not a minor or not an addict and they get drunk and cause injuries to themselves or someone else?
A: In this instance the establishment appears not to have any liability under Florida Statute 769.125. There are other legal causes of action that can be brought however.

Q: What if an establishment serves alcohol to someone who they know to be drunk, even though they are of lawful age to drink and not an addict?
A: Florida Statute 769.125 does not appear to legislate this issue. This issue may however be argued under general negligence, which has separate laws.

Q: What if I have a party at my house with some friends over and someone gets drunk and causes an accident. Am I liable?
A: The short answer, as it relates to Florida Statute 769.125, is no. There is no Social Host liability. Being a host at your own private event at your house would not cause liability under Florida’s Dram Shop Law.

If you were injured, or know someone who was injured, by a drunk driver, or as a result of a bar or club serving alcohol to another, call us for a free consultation. We do not charge a cost or fee unless we recover money for you.

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