Dram Shop/Social Host Liability
The consequences of drunk driving are often catastrophic. Unfortunately, sometimes the irresponsible driver who wreaked havoc on you or your family does not have sufficient insurance to cover all your losses. But that does not have to be the end of the story since the driver may not be the only one at fault. A special New York law (sometimes called the “Dram Shop” law) imposes liability on bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other public locations that serve alcohol to a minor or someone who is already visibly intoxicated. If you are injured by one of their minor or intoxicated adult customers who drives under the influence, then you may have a claim against the establishment that served them, in addition to the driver.
In New York, the “Dram Shop” statute is mostly limited to commercial businesses. If a private party host serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated adult guest who then causes injury to another, the “Dram Shop” law would not apply. To hold a party host liable for the actions of an adult drunk guest, we rely on principles of general negligence, such as if the host gave the drunk guest the car keys and encouraged them to drive.
The party host may also be held responsible if the person they served (and who subsequently caused injury) was under the age of 21. This could include parents who let their children throw parties in their home or hosts who do not take reasonable steps to prevent minors from consuming alcohol on the premises.
Our firm has a great deal of experience in these types of cases. We have a proven track record of representing victims of drunk driving accidents and obtaining maximum recovery from all those responsible. If you or a loved one was a victim of a drunk driver, you deserve the benefit of the most aggressive representation possible to secure all possible avenues of recovery.
Call us at 845-353-2000 for a free consultation.