Dram Shop

Injured by a drunk driver?

But it gets worse: Following the accident, you learn the driver has no insurance or assets.
You may have a source of recovery if the driver was on their way home from a restaurant or bar that sold the alcohol.

A licensed commercial establishment is liable for serving an intoxicated individual if:

1) The establishment sold liquor to an individual who was obviously intoxicated.
2) The individual consumed the alcohol purchased.

See Arizona Revised Statutes § 4-311, 4-312, and 4-244.

Drunk drivers can be held liable for causing injury to another person if an accident were to occur. In addition, the establishment that served the drunk driver may, in some circumstances, be held liable as well. If the staff at the establishment knew the individual was highly intoxicated but still chose to serve/sell alcohol to the person, they may be liable. Many times, these establishments include bars and liquor stores, but it is not uncommon for other entities to be held liable, including:

  • Restaurants.
  • Social clubs.
  • Private events where alcohol is being served.

Arizona Revised Statute § 4-311, reads:

Liability for serving intoxicated person or minor; definition

A. A licensee is liable for property damage and personal injuries or is liable to a person who may bring an action for wrongful death pursuant to section 12-612, or both, if a court or jury finds all of the following:

1. The licensee sold spirituous liquor either to a purchaser who was obviously intoxicated, or to a purchaser under the legal drinking age without requesting identification containing proof of age or with knowledge that the person was under the legal drinking age.

2. The purchaser consumed the spirituous liquor sold by the licensee.

3. The consumption of spirituous liquor was a proximate cause of the injury, death or property damage.

B. No licensee is chargeable with knowledge of previous acts by which a person becomes intoxicated at other locations unknown to the licensee unless the person was obviously intoxicated. If the licensee operates under a restaurant license, the finder of fact shall not consider any information obtained as a result of a restaurant audit conducted pursuant to section 4-213 unless the court finds the information relevant.

C. For the purposes of subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section, if it is found that an underage person purchased spirituous liquor from a licensee and such underage person incurs or causes injuries or property damage as a result of the consumption of spirituous liquor within a reasonable period of time following the sale of the spirituous liquor, it shall create a rebuttable presumption that the underage person consumed the spirituous liquor sold to such person by the licensee.

D. For the purposes of this section, “obviously intoxicated” means inebriated to such an extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.