Florida’s Dram Shop Act and Liability for Serving Minors and Alcoholics
Fort Lauderdale, FL – Many Florida personal injury lawyers shy away from liquor liability claims and pursue only the underlying accident or injury case. If a drunk driver hits or kills someone, many injury attorneys will only pursue claims against the drunk driver or any possible uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Inquiry into the accident should not stop there.
Liability in Florida for serving alcohol to minors or alcoholics Florida has a Dram Shop Act which may impose liability on bars, restaurants and homeowners if certain provisions are met.
Florida Statute section 768.125 states that a person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person of lawful drinking age shall not thereby become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such person, except that a person who willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person.
Over the years, I’ve handled many liquor liability cases against drunk drivers, restaurants, homeowners and bars. A complex and thorough investigation is needed into the property backgrounds and the accident.
The liquor liability background search Florida has a wonderful public records act which allows us to search through millions of records. A bar, for example, may have pertinent records available to us through the city or county’s Code Enforcement, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Florida Department of Professional Business Regulations Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, State Attorney, Clerk of the Court, and many others.
The background may help to secure liability against the bar or restaurant. An expert may also be needed to prove that the bar knew the person was a minor, or exhibited willful blindness.