Miami, FL asked in DUI / DWI for Florida

Q: My uncle and I went to bar and got drunk. Bartender kept giving us beer. Can we sue for crashing while driving home?

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2 Lawyer Answers
PREMIUM
Answered
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • New Port Richey, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your question is basically a question about what are called DRAM SHOP actions. In Florida, a bar could be sued, even by the person who may have been at fault for the accident, for the resultant damages caused by their lack of sobriety if it was caused:

1) by some kind of negligence in allowing the person to drink there in the first place - i.e. the person was 16 years old and nobody ever asked the individual for identification; or

2) serving what is called an "habitual drunkard" - generally these are of course the more difficult of the two types of cases - here, a plaintiff would need to prove either a) the individual a known medical condition which made it negligent to serve them or b) that they had so regularly visited this bar and exhibited no ability to control their drinking, thus "habitual" and the bar was on notice about their behavior.

Obviously, the most common case involving this type of action is where the 15 year old is never carded and causes a serious accident in which inadequate auto insurance is not capable of compensating seriously injured persons. Then the inured persons look into the potential negligence of the bar for providing the alcohol in the first place - typically a commercial policy might be applicable in this case.

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Deltona, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sure, if you fall into the parameters set out by the other Jason.

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