The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles What Are the Dram Shop Laws in Missouri?

What Are the Dram Shop Laws in Missouri?

By Christopher Hoffmann  May. 27, 2020 12:59p

Under Missouri law, an establishment that sells intoxicating products by the drink to be served and consumed at the premises can be liable in case they are overserving their customers, and the latter causes a car accident resulting in personal injuries. These laws are known as the Missouri Dram Shop law.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an inebriated person, you can file a suit against them, and also possibly file an additional suit against the bar that served them too much alcohol. This should be discussed with an experienced attorney.

Which Establishments Fall Under the Dram Shop Law?

In order to be held liable for a car accident caused by inebriation on their premises, an establishment has to sell intoxicating products for-profit and to be able to observe the patrons and evaluate their intoxication levels before serving more alcohol to them.

This being said, it’s clear that a shop or a social host (for example, the hosts of a way too cheery family dinner) cannot be held liable if their customers/guests cause a car accident while drunk.


How Is a Server Supposed to Know When the Served Amount of Alcohol is Too Much?

If you consider the dram shop law circumstances to be highly subjective, you have a good point. When is a server supposed to know that a patron shouldn’t have another drink? We all react so differently to varying amounts of alcohol, that it’s very difficult to make a proper evaluation based on a brief interaction in a possibly loud and chaotic environment.

In order for you to hold an establishment liable, you must prove that they knowingly served more alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. This involves obvious signs that the person displays clear signs of physical dysfunction. An important mention is that if the injuries are caused by a minor (under 21 years old) who consumed alcoholic beverages in such an establishment, it’s no longer necessary to prove that they were “visibly intoxicated”. The fact alone that they were served alcoholic beverages can make the business responsible.

Legal Details of the Missouri Dram Shop Law

Dram shop cases are not subjected to having a “cap”. The types of damages you can claim compensation for are the same ones as for any car accident claim: medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages.

Also, if you want to file a dram shop lawsuit against an establishment, you must do it in the window of time known as the status of limitation. In Missouri, you have five years to file a car accident claim.

Because of the nature of such a lawsuit, it’s highly recommendable to discuss the details of your accident with an experienced car accident attorney. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

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