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Who is liable in a drunk driving accident?

Most drivers know that drunk driving is wrong, but unfortunately some people still do it. If their poor decision causes an accident, injured parties have the right to seek compensation.

However, the liable party for said compensation may go beyond the person behind the wheel. Connecticut has liquor liability laws that could impact who is financially responsible.

Dram shop liability

Dram shop liability applies to bars, restaurants or other businesses that serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron. If said patron causes a drunk driving accident, the seller could owe the injured party or the family of a deceased party up to $250,000. However, if the driver is a minor, the damages could be higher.

Anyone who seeks damages under dram shop liability has strict guidelines to file, but families of a loved one who died or became incapacitated generally have a little more time.

Social host liability

Social host liability is like dram shop liability, but it applies to private residences. A residential owner could be liable for serving someone who causes an accident.

However, social host liability does not include the same caps for damages as dram shop liability, even if the person is of the legal drinking age. As is the case with dram shop liability, the damages for social host liability can be higher if the driver is a minor.

Drunk driving accidents are serious and can cause severe physical and emotional pain for victims and their loved ones. If another party enabled someone’s negligence, both should be held accountable for their choices.

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Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law
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