Bars may be blamed for a drunken person’s behavior

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Dram shop liability

Dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Generally, dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties (those not having a relationship to the bar) as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents.

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Hazards of serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated patrons

The laws are intended to protect the general public from the hazards of serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated patrons. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have advocated for the enforcement and enactment of dram shop laws across the United States. The majority of states allow for recovery when the defendant knew (or should have known) the customer was intoxicated. Some states have attempted to address this problem through more exacting tests

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Dram shop must have been able to foresee that its actions could cause injuries

Proximate cause includes the requirement that the dram shop must have been able to foresee that its actions could cause injuries to third parties, but this is true for any establishment that serves (sells) alcohol. Different states' dram shop acts also differ as to whether a person who becomes intoxicated and injures themselves has a cause of action against the establishment that served them. Some states, such as New Jersey, will allow such a cause of action but will instruct the jury to take the intoxicated person's own negligence into account. Other states, such as New York, will not allow a person who injures themselves to bring a lawsuit against the bar that served them, but if that person dies will allow such a person's children to sue the drinking establishment for loss of parental consortium

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Alcohol use among youth

A U.S. organization that studies alcohol use among youth concluded that, Michigan and Alaska, whose dram shop laws are considerably narrower than MADD proposes, have drunk-driving fatality rates below the national average, while Illinois is above the national average despite having one of the broadest dram shop laws. Comparisons between a rural state like Alaska, with the lowest population density in the United States, with that of Illinois, which includes the Chicago metropolitan area and other major cities, may not be scientifically valid because of the existence of confounding variables. A 1993 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found some reduction in alcohol-related fatalities from the implementation of dram shop laws though it did not control for the special cases of Utah and Nevada.

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$135 million to the family of a girl paralyzed in 1999 after a drunk driver collided with the car

In one such case, a New Jersey jury awarded $135 million to the family of a girl paralyzed in 1999 after a drunk driver collided with the car in which she was riding. showing fault of the alcohol seller is a relatively difficult task.In Nevada, if you sell, serve, or furnish alcohol to another individual, and that individual becomes intoxicated and causes injury to himself or to a third party, the furnisher of the alcohol can almost never be held liable in a civil action.

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Liability of person who serves, sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages

NRS 41.1305 Liability of person who serves, sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages for damages caused as a result of consumption of alcoholic beverage: 1. A person who serves, sells or otherwise furnishes an alcoholic beverage to another person who is 21 years of age or older is not liable in a civil action for any damages caused by the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was served, sold or furnished as a result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage. 2. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who: (a) Knowingly serves, sells or otherwise furnishes an alcoholic beverage to an underage person; or (b) Knowingly allows an underage person to consume an alcoholic beverage on premises or in a conveyance belonging to the person or over which the

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Dram shop liability is an effective method for reducing alcohol-related harms

Prestiguous stidies show that enfocment of dram shop liability is an effective method for reducing alcohol-related harms. Dram shop liability. The effect of dram shop liability on alcohol-related outcomes may be influenced by at least two factors (In states with dram shop liability, premises owners perceive a potential for liability suits, which may be communicated by public and trade media and word of mouth. Such perception may result in increased training of outlet personnel in responsible beverage service, increased motivation, increased oversight, and increased compliance with liquor laws.

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Risk factors for exessive drinking

Risk Factors: Unsupervised pool tables TV showing aggressive, offensive, sexual or intoxication-related images Music with a lot of offensive or sexually explicit words Congestion anywhere in the premises (at the door, bar, stairs, toilets, dance floor, etc.) Higher percentage of customers standing Drunk or underage persons allowed in and served Vomiting Drug dealing or drug use Drunk customers in the premises Staff being hostile or aggressive towards patrons Staff allowing aggression or watching conflict Staff sending people outside to fight Late intervention in situations by staff Patrons served double at closing time or served after closing time Smokiness and/or lack of ventilation High level of noise and movement Lack of bar wiping, table clearing, toilet cleanliness Openly sexual or sexually competitive activity (such as "pulling") In-house promotion or entertainment focusing on alcohol and "sexy dancing"

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Bar Factors

Bar managers, staff and owners are in a position to control or influence at least two of the three factors that control alcohol intake by patrones: the amount and type of drink served and, in particular, the environment. The layout of the premises, whether there are more people sitting or standing, the lighting and the music are all things that create the drinking environment.

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Bars shold control what they allow patrons to drink

the same person's behavior watching a sports game in the bar will change with the amount of alcohol he or she consumes. a person's behavior at a fine restaurant is likely to be very different from that person's behavior while watching a sports game at a bar.the right atmosphere is about encouraging people to behave in a manner that is in keeping with the style of a bar. The atmosphere is the general mood or feeling of a place. It begins to affect the customers from the moment they come in and can influence the way they drink and their ongoing behavior.

Additional Resources

Howard Roitman, Esq. (702) 631-5650

Big Rig and Truck Accidents

MADD

Car Crash

Motorcycle Accidents

Nevada MADD

Premises liability

Effects of Dram Shop Liability

Liability of person who serves, sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages for damages caused as a result of consumption of alcoholic beverage:

Blame it on the Bars

Innkeeper liability

Justia

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