Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
Free Consultation

Can bar owners be held liable for drunk driving accidents?

Unfortunately, Illinois residents are not immune to the drunk driving problem that affects our nation. Many Illinois citizens perish each year due to drunk driving while state legislators do their best to enact measures that will reduce DUI-related accidents. Part of these measures is holding other people responsible for drunk driving accidents in addition to the driver of the vehicle. An important example of these efforts is holding the people and businesses that serve alcohol accountable in civil actions related to DUI accidents.

Most dram shop laws prohibit businesses that serve alcohol from serving to visibly intoxicated patrons. What this usually means is that bar staff and owners or even party hosts must know when it is time to stop serving alcohol to inebriated individuals. Failure to stop serving alcohol means that the servers could be named in a civil suit resulting from drunk driving accidents.

However, in Illinois, these laws work a bit differently. Known as the Dram Shop Act or the Liquor Control Act, the act does not legally require Illinois servers to necessarily notice when patrons are visibly intoxicated. As a result, any establishment that served a patron who went on to cause injury, damage or death due to drunk driving can be held liable for damages.

In summary, Illinois does indeed allow victims of drunk driving accidents to seek compensation from establishments or individuals who served alcohol to the drunk driver. However, making a successful claim requires work on the part of the victim and his or her family. For best results, victims should seek guidance from a personal injury attorney based in Illinois.

Source: National Conference of State legislatures, "Dram Shop Civil Liability and Criminal Penalty State Statutes," accessed Oct. 27, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

Office Location

Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
311 S. County Farm Rd
Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-517-3279
Wheaton Law Office Map