Dram shop laws and social host liability

A dram shop, according to Merriam Webster, is “an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages”. These are typically bars of some sort. The question becomes: who is liable, when an intoxicated person is responsible for injuring somebody else? Is it fully on the intoxicated person, or is the third party (dram shop or social host) responsible since it provided the alcohol? Louisiana, which has not enacted any broad legislation for this, is different than most states.

Dram shops are public places, whereas social hosts work in a private setting, such as in somebody’s home.

NOLO explains that Louisiana only has two exceptions to the lack of broadly defined rules for dram shop laws and social host liability claims. In these exceptions, third party liability may apply:

  • the vendor/social host caused the intoxication by force
  • the vendor/social host misrepresented the alcoholic beverage as non-alcoholic

These are rare instances when the exceptions occur. However, they are extremely important to be aware of. These laws fall closely in line with personal injury. In the case that the incident involved personal damages, the victim can make certain claims. All claims depend on the court’s decision, which involves a statute of limitations. Examples of injury claims include: medical costs, lost income, lost wages, disability costs, salvage value of the personal property, and pain and suffering.

The best action to take is to hire an attorney experienced in DWI law and Personal Injury. Whether you’re ready to hire an attorney, or simply want to discuss your matter with a compassionate and attentive legal professional, email or call Lafayette Personal Injury, Family Law Attorney Taylor Fontenot directly at 337-704-7255.