There are a few holidays that Americans love to celebrate. Bars, restaurants, and cafes host many special events on those days, encouraging get-togethers between friends and coworkers to boost sales. Unfortunately, this revelry can also be dangerous. Drawing crowds to get intoxicated sometimes leads to a spike in arrests and car accidents involving DUIs.
Restaurants and bars have a responsibility to not to over-serve beverages to an already intoxicated individual. Bars must also ensure that their customers are not drinking and driving, thereby preventing potentially deadly accidents. This legislation may seem sensible, but on busy holidays, it can be difficult for bartenders and staff to keep track of their patrons. Where it can be proven that negligence occurred, it may be possible to hold establishments accountable for damages with the help of a Tucson personal injury lawyer.
Vendor vs. Social Host Liability
Dram laws vary from state to state. Certain states maintain that the host of a social party can be held liable for any injuries caused by guests even after they have left the party. In the state of Arizona, however, liability is reserved only for vendors or businesses that hold liquor licenses. This means that a restaurant, bar, or club can be held legally responsible for any injuries and damages caused by a patron who was drinking. Additionally, shops that sell alcohol to minors are liable and subject to harsh consequences. The same goes for shops which sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons.
Per Arizona’s dram shop laws, social hosts can be held liable if they knowingly provide minors with alcohol. Adults caught providing alcohol to minors also face some devastating charges, ranging to a large fine (best case scenario) to jail time (worst case scenario).
Damages in Dram Shop Cases
Anyone violating dram shop laws may find themselves on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit. In the case of a dram shop causing damages or injuries, the victim can bring about a lawsuit directly against the dram shop vendor. Losing a dram shop case can be devastating for a business’s finances and reputation.
Injured victims of drunk driving accidents are legally entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, damage to property, lost wages, and more. They can also receive money for pain and suffering due to the other party’s negligence. In this case, the bar or restaurant owner can be held liable in addition to the drunk driver if it can be shown that they contributed to the crash.
The Statute of Limitations in Arizona for DUI Accidents
In Arizona, a statute of limitations exists for dram shop cases. In other words, there is a time limit on how long the victim can wait before filing a lawsuit against the establishment that negligently served the intoxicated driver alcohol. In Arizona, this time limit is just two years.
If a DUI accident victim fails to file the lawsuit within that time frame, it will be thrown out. The court will not hear the case, meaning the victim will not be able to recover financial compensation for their injuries and other expenses. The best way to ensure that you file your case in a timely manner is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney right away. A local Tucson DUI accident lawyer can take ownership of the situation while you recover from your injuries.
At Karnas Law Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis meaning that you will not pay us one cent until we recover the funds you need. At the very least, contact our firm for a free consultation to get an educated idea of what to do after a DUI accident.