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San Diego Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

A Brief Summary of the Following Page

  • Liability: California dram shop laws allow for businesses like bars or restaurants to be held responsible if they over-serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or minors, potentially leading to accidents and harm.
  • Legislation: Dram shop liability has evolved, with current laws emphasizing that the individual consuming alcohol bears primary responsibility, except when alcohol is served to visibly intoxicated minors.
  • Responsibility: Private hosts at social events can also be held liable for serving alcohol to minors if it leads to an accident, highlighting the importance of careful alcohol management.
  • Assistance: Victims of alcohol-related incidents can seek legal guidance from the lawyers of Callahan & Blaine, who specialize in San Diego dram shop liability, to explore compensation claims and navigate the legal process.
  • Contact our dram shop liability lawyers: today by calling (714) 241-4444 or filling out a contact form for a consultation and take the first step towards securing the justice and support you need to move forward.

When a restaurant, bar, tavern, or other alcohol-serving establishment engages in negligent or careless conduct by overserving patrons or minors, the resulting accidents can significantly impact the lives of victims and families. California dram shop liability laws establish that businesses that serve alcohol may be held legally responsible if they over-serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual or a minor who then causes harm to themselves or others. If you were injured in an accident as a result of overserving, speak with the San Diego dram shop liability lawyers of Callahan & Blaine for an assessment of your claim.

When Is a Business at Fault for Alcohol-Related Accident Injuries? 

Dram shop laws are designed to hold businesses that sell alcohol accountable if they serve someone who then drives recklessly and causes harm. These laws emphasize the duty of care these establishments have especially given the significant profits they earn from alcohol sales. Originating from old English legislation, the term “dram” itself is an old British unit for measuring alcohol servings.

Previously, California’s dram shop laws were relatively expansive, allowing injured parties to seek compensation from establishments that served alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or minors who then caused injuries while driving drunk. However, in 2012, changes to California Civil Code Section 1714 marked a significant shift by emphasizing that the individual consuming the alcohol bears the primary responsibility for any resultant harm from drunk driving incidents, thus limiting the establishments’ liability. The exception to this revised stance is in the case of serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated minors, where the establishment may still be found liable for damages caused by the minor in a DUI incident, reflecting the state’s strict prohibition against underage drinking in any context.

Under California Business and Professions Code § 25602.1, if a person who holds a license to sell alcohol – or should hold such a license under Section 23300 – provides alcohol to a visibly intoxicated minor, and this act directly leads to injury or death, a lawsuit can be initiated by the injured party or their representatives. This law is violated when an alcohol vendor serves a minor who displays clear signs of intoxication, whether the vendor fails to notice these signs or chooses to ignore them, as outlined in the case Schaffield v. Abboud (1993).

This type of negligent action by bars, taverns, or restaurants can lead to devastating outcomes not only for the minor who was irresponsibly served alcohol but also for anyone else who might be harmed as a result of the minor’s impaired state. A typical situation involves the intoxicated minor leaving the establishment, driving off, and then causing a serious accident that injures an innocent third party. It is crucial for establishments that contribute to such DUI incidents by serving intoxicated minors to be held responsible for the injuries they cause.

Overview of San Diego’s Social Host Responsibilities 

Private individuals hosting social events have a duty to manage the provision of alcohol carefully to prevent any related harm or damages. For example, if a minor attends a party on a private property, drinks a few beers, drives home intoxicated, and causes an accident, the party host could be held partially responsible for the damages because he or she served alcohol to a minor, despite not knowing he would drive.

In California, the law places strict limitations on holding third parties accountable for damages related to the provision of alcohol under the premise that it is the act of consuming alcohol, not the service of it, that leads to injuries. Thus, for a claim against an establishment like a bar to be successful, it must be shown that the establishment was grossly negligent in serving alcohol to the individual who caused harm. Unlike commercial venues, private hosts do not have the same legal protections and can be found liable more easily for the consequences of serving alcohol at their events.

Speak With the San Diego Dram Shop Liability Lawyers of Callahan & Blaine Today 

If you suffered due to an alcohol-related incident, navigating the complexities of a dram shop liability claim can feel overwhelming. The lawyers of Callahan & Blaine can help you understand San Diego dram shop laws, whether you have a claim to seek compensation for injuries and provide invaluable support throughout the legal process. 

Do not let the actions of irresponsible establishments go unchallenged. Reach out to one of our skilled attorneys today by calling (714) 241-4444 or filling out a contact form to explore your options.