Drunk Driving Accidents: Understanding New Jersey's Dram Shop Liability Laws

When it comes to car accidents involving drunk drivers, perhaps you've heard of New Jersey's dram shop liability and social host liquor liability laws. In short, these laws hold the operators of bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol, as well as the hosts of private parties, accountable when they over serve patrons. If a person is obviously intoxicated, gets behind the wheel and is involved in a car accident, the business or host can be held accountable for damages.

We Help You Get Maximum Compensation For Your Injuries

At the law office of Patricia Ronayne, Esquire, P.C., our attorneys are committed to helping you and your family get the compensation and treatment you need to recover.

This means taking a hands-on approach to helping you find the right doctor, investigating the details of your accident, and when it comes to drunk driving accidents, bringing in accident reconstructionists and alcohol experts who can help build the strongest possible case.

The aftermath of a car crash can be an incredibly confusing and stressful time. As your attorneys, we want to alleviate some of the stress so you can focus on what's most important — your family and your health.

We will deal with the insurance company, determine if we need to bring a civil suit against the drunk driver, and determine if dram shop or social host laws apply to your situation.

In addition to holding negligent bar and restaurant owners accountable for over serving patrons, dram shop laws also account for other alcohol related issues, including:

  • Drunk drivers who injure themselves (not just other people): It's important to understand that individuals are expected to hold themselves accountable for their actions (this includes drinking and driving). However, in some cases, intoxicated drivers who were over served at a bar, club, restaurant or private party can hold the owner of the establishment or host responsible for injuries and damages incurred in an accident.
  • Serving alcohol to minors: If a minor is served alcohol at a bar or restaurant and is later involved in a car accident, the business can be held liable for injuries incurred to the minor or others involved in the accident (other motorists, pedestrians, etc.).
  • Failing to act: In summary, if an employee at a bar or restaurant notices that an obviously intoxicated patron is attempting to drive and fails to do anything about it, the business may be held liable if the patron is injured in an accident.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car wreck and you suspect that alcohol was involved, it's important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. It's important to act quickly after an accident so we can get to work gathering evidence, advising you on how to proceed and ultimately protecting your rights and interests.

Learn More During A Free Personal Injury Consultation

From our office in Mount Laurel, we work with clients throughout Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties in New Jersey. If you have questions, don't hesitate to give us a call at 856-291-0335. Personal injury consultations are free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don't have to pay attorney fees unless we recover.