Most states in the United States have laws that allow an injured person in an accident with a drunken driver to hold the vendor that served the alcohol liable for the accident. These rules are referred to as “dram shop” laws, recalling back to a time when liquor was measured by the unit of “dram.”
A few states also allow the injured person to hold social hosts responsible for the injuries.
Kentucky has a dram shop law that applies to vendors, but only in certain situations. The state, even more, limits social host liability, and typically only applies when the alcohol is served to a minor. If a drunken driver injures you, it is important to understand how the liability rules apply. More so, you need to hire an injury attorney to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries.
What is the Kentucky Dram Shop Law?
Kentucky Revised Statute Section 413.241 says that vendors are not liable when the patron injures another, except where there is proof that a reasonable person in a similar situation would have known that the person they were serving was severely intoxicated. The vendor must knowingly serve the intoxicated person and that person cause harm to another.
The vendor must serve the intoxicated person knowing that they are intoxicated, period. Therefore, if there is no proof that the seller was aware of the person’s drunken status, it is hard to hold them financially responsible.
Holding Drivers Responsible for Drunken Driving Accidents
The state of Kentucky has troubling statistics regarding drunk driving accidents. In fact, the most recent report from the Kentucky State Police Traffic Collision Facts report (2013) found that there were:
- 4,529 alcohol-related accidents
- 2,339 injuries in drunken driving accidents
- 390 catastrophic accidents from drunk driving accidents
- 153 fatalities from drunk driving accidents
Receiving Damages for a Drunken Driving Accidents
Dram shop cases against alcohol vendors are like other civil cases. However, you must prove the liability and successfully request damages. Therefore, you need an accident attorney to assist you. For a dram shop claim, however, you only have one-year to file your lawsuit.