Dram shop laws hold commercial establishments liable when they serve clearly intoxicated customers who subsequently cause serious accidents or injuries after leaving the premises. These laws vary across the country, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have statutory provisions in place that establish liability in such cases.
If you are facing charges related to DWI or over-serving a customer, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Mr. DeUrso will evaluate your case, investigate your arrest and aggressively represent your interests.
Call 914-772-8614 to schedule an initial consultation with a White Plains criminal attorney today. You can learn more about DWI laws in New York by visiting USAttorneys.com.
What are New York’s dram shop laws?
Under N.Y. General Obligations Law §11-100, individuals who sustain injuries in an accident that was the direct result of the impairment of someone under the age of 21 have the right to pursue damages from anyone who knowingly assisted in the procurement of alcohol that caused the impairment. In the state of New York, if the intoxicated individual is the one who sustains serious injuries, he or she cannot sue the establishment that served the alcohol for any damages; however, if the customer gets in a fatal accident while intoxicated, any children of the deceased may file a lawsuit against the establishment for loss of parental consortium.
How can restaurant and bar owners protect themselves?
According to the New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, bar and restaurant owners can protect themselves from dram shop lawsuits by checking the age of their customers using a valid form of identification and by refusing to serve visibly intoxicated individuals. In the state of New York, the following documents are considered acceptable proof of age to purchase alcoholic beverages:
- A valid driver’s license or identification card issued by any state, the District of Columbia, the federal government, any commonwealth, possession or territory of the U.S. or by a provincial government of Canada;
- A valid passport from the United States or any other country; or
- A valid military ID from the United States.
Although employee identification cards, college IDs and any other forms of identification cannot serve as the primary proof of age, they can serve as a secondary means to verify the customer’s identity.
Can customers bring their own alcohol into bars and restaurants?
If the liquor licensee of a bar or restaurant approves a “BYOB” policy, customers can bring their own alcoholic beverages on the premises; however, the particular beverage must fall under the umbrella of the establishment’s license. For example, if the restaurant is only licensed to sell wine and beer, customers cannot bring their own liquor. If a customer reaches the point of impairment by drinking alcohol that he or she brought, the establishment could still be liable for any accidents that occur.
If you are facing criminal charges in New York, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Call 914-772-8614 today to discuss your case with a White Plains DWI lawyer.