Under dram shop laws, the institution or individual who sold a visibly intoxicated person more alcohol may be held financially liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result of the inebriated party's behavior. While not all states in the US have adopted dram shop laws (no federal regulations for this situation exist), Washington does have dram shop regulations in place. Due to this legislation, any bartender, store clerk, or member of a wait staff who fails to adhere to dram shop may be held accountable for a DUI accident that results in injuries or other damage.
Dram Shop Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the establishment selling or serving alcohol to have the proper training and regulations in place to ensure that its employees do not sell alcohol to minors or individuals who are already in an obviously inebriated state. They must know the following signs of intoxication and cut off individuals who exhibit them:
- Slurred speech
- Loss of motor skills, control, or balance
- Bloodshot eyes
- Speaking lewdly, loudly, and erratically
- Being overly clumsy
- Aggressiveness and heightened emotions
- Inability to stand without falling over
It is the responsibility of these establishments to ensure that their customers do not drink to the point of being unable to drive or function properly. If they fail to do so, the establishment or serving employee may be held financially liable for any accidents that result.
If you would like to learn more about dram shop laws, contact the experienced Seattle DUI defense lawyers of The Cowan Kirk Law Firm today at 1-866-822-1230.