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Dram Shop Liability

Dram Shop Liability Laws Hold Sellers of Alcohol Liable for Drunk Driver Injuries

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Tragically, scores of innocent motorists and pedestrians are injured and killed every year by intoxicated drivers. In certain situations, sellers and servers of alcohol can be held liable for damages. In the law, these cases are called “dram shop” liability cases, referencing a time when bars or “shops” sold alcohol by the “dram.”

Kentucky does not allow recovery from a “social host” who serves alcohol at a private function, except where a social host provides alcohol to a minor who then causes an injury or death. Kentucky dram shop liability law only applies to vendors licensed to sell or serve alcohol under state law – restaurants, hotels, bars or taverns, or liquor stores.

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Dram Shop Cases Are Complex And Require Extensive Investigation

There are several potential legal hurdles to bringing a successful dram shop case. It is critical that a proper early investigation is conducted. Obtaining documentation of the sale of the alcohol and interviewing witnesses are just a couple of examples. Furthermore, under Kentucky law, you cannot settle with and provide a release and indemnity to the intoxicated individual and then separately pursue the seller of the alcohol. Generally, the case against the intoxicated person and the alcohol seller must be brought and resolved together.

The Law Offices of Herren · Adams, LLP, in Lexington, handled multiple successful dram shop cases over the years. In fact, attorney Tom Herren handled a case that went all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court and was decided in our client’s favor.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, or a loved one was killed in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, our lawyers will explore whether pursuing damages in a dram shop liability lawsuit makes sense. Call 859-254-0024 or request a complimentary consultation by completing our online form.


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