Drinking and driving continues to be an epidemic in our country. While the person who gets behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated deserves to be blamed, our legal system also holds the establishment, where the person was served liquor, accountable. It is what is called “Dram Shop” liability. Our investigators have extensive knowledge of how Dram Shop laws are applied and the facts that need to be established to have a case that either demonstrates or diminishes liability.
To be clear, when a bar, nightclub, casino, hotel, restaurant, or any other establishment serves alcohol to a customer, they assume a certain degree of responsibility and accountability. When they serve alcohol to an individual they knew or should have known was intoxicated, or had reason to believe was becoming intoxicated, and that person ends up causing injury and/or damage in a drunk driving accident, the establishment may be held liable.
What courts look for is whether, using a standard of reasonableness, the establishment could have prevented the person from becoming intoxicated, getting behind the wheel, and getting into the DUI accident. One little known fact, in Arizona and many other states, is that it is illegal for an employee to serve a drink to a customer who the employee should know is already drunk. This is just one fact that needs to be established in the complicated road that encompasses a Dram Shop case.
Inter-State Investigative Services excels at reconstructing the course of events that led to the tragic conclusion of a DUI accident. Obviously, it’s a tricky procedure. Our investigations, with expertise in finding and interviewing witnesses, obtaining and reviewing government agency reports, reconstructing accidents and establishing detailed timelines, have earned their reputations for being the best at establishing the facts in DUI accidents and their contingent Dram Shop liability cases.
DUI accidents can lead to tragic results, including property damage, serious injuries (which will require extensive medical care and financial reimbursement), and death (which leave families with emotional and financial duress, in need of compensation for an array of bills and loss of companionship). In order to receive compensation, liability must be clearly established. And that’s where we excel.
To establish a concrete timeline of events, it is imperative to learn exactly where the driver was before, during and after drinking at any establishment. Finding and interviewing eyewitnesses and personnel at the establishment as well as people who know the driver, and whoever may have witnessed the accident, are all necessary steps in the process.
Reconstructing the accident, determining the blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash, and clearly establishing where, when and by whom the driver was served liquor, are all factors to be firmly demonstrated. Additional elements can arise in Dram Shop cases, including automobile defect and product liability, which can impact liability. Our investigators are renowned for the thoroughness, tenacious work ethic and meticulous attention to detail required to properly establish, or dismiss, Dram Shop liability.
If you have any questions or need help with Dram Shop Investigations, contact IISAZ at (520) 882-2723 o (602) 358-7759.