Personal. Caring.

When can you hold third parties liable for a drunk driving crash?

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you want to hold all of the responsible parties liable. That may involve more than the drunk driver. 

By determining who all played a role in that driver getting behind the wheel when they were in no condition to drive, you can also be able to obtain far more compensation than their insurance provides. You may need that compensation if there are catastrophic injuries that require long-term treatment and care, loss of income and more.

Dram shop liability

If the drunk driver had just left a restaurant or bar, Arizona law may be able to help you. Unlike some states, we still have a dram shop law. These laws, which refer to an old name for bars and pubs, allow victims to hold establishments that serve alcohol responsible for drunk driving collisions.

Specifically, under Arizona’s dram shop law, “A licensee is liable for property damage and personal injuries or is liable to a person who may bring an action for wrongful death” if a customer “was obviously intoxicated” or “under the legal drinking age” if “consumption of spirituous liquor was a proximate cause of the injury, death or property damage.”

Social host liability

What if the driver was drinking at a private party or get-together at someone’s home? That’s where “social host” laws come into play. These vary by state. 

Here in Arizona, hosts of private parties can be held liable, but only if the driver is underage or they were in any way charging people for alcohol – such as having a cover charge. Otherwise, they can’t be held civilly liable if a person old enough to legally consume alcohol had too much to drink at someone’s home and causes a crash after they leave.

You want to seek the maximum possible compensation from the liable parties to help you deal with the expenses and damages resulting from the actions of a drunk driver. Having experienced legal guidance can help.


FindLaw Network

How Can We Help?