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Understanding Dram Shop Liability in Florida: Holding Alcohol Providers Accountable

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Understanding Dram Shop Liability in Florida: Holding Alcohol Providers Accountable

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Understanding Dram Shop Liability in Florida: Holding Alcohol Providers Accountable

Brubaker Injury Law

February 9, 2024

When it comes to personal injury cases involving alcohol-related accidents, dram shop liability plays a significant role. This legal concept holds alcohol providers accountable for injuries caused by intoxicated individuals. In Florida, understanding dram shop laws is crucial for both injured parties and businesses that serve alcohol. Let’s dive into the details:

What Is Dram Shop Liability?

Dram shop liability refers to the legal responsibility of establishments that sell or serve alcohol (such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores) for the actions of their intoxicated patrons. If an intoxicated person causes harm—such as a car accident or assault—the injured party may seek compensation from the alcohol provider.

Florida’s Dram Shop Law

Florida’s dram shop law is outlined in Florida Statute 768.125. Here are the key points:

General Rule:

  • Florida law generally does not hold alcohol providers liable for injuries caused by their customers.
  • The focus is on the individual’s consumption of alcohol, not the act of serving or selling it.


Florida’s dram shop law includes two exceptions to the general rule:

  • Serving Minors: If an alcohol provider serves alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age (21), they can be held liable for resulting injuries.
  • Habitual Addiction: If an alcohol provider knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to alcohol, they may be liable for any harm caused by that person’s intoxication.

Challenges and Considerations

Proving Knowledge:

  • To establish liability, the injured party must prove that the alcohol provider knew or should have known about the customer’s addiction or age.
  • Evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or prior incidents can be crucial.

Comparative Negligence:

  • Florida follows a comparative negligence system.
  • If the injured person’s actions contributed to the accident (e.g., getting into a car with a visibly intoxicated driver), their compensation may be reduced.

Insurance Coverage:

  • Alcohol providers often have liability insurance to cover potential claims.
  • Determining the available coverage is essential for injured parties seeking compensation.

Seek Legal Guidance

If you’ve been injured due to an intoxicated person’s actions, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can evaluate your case, explore dram shop liability, and guide you through the legal process.

Remember, understanding dram shop laws empowers you to seek justice and hold alcohol providers accountable. 📜👨‍⚖️

For personalized legal advice or further information, feel free to reach out to our team at Brubaker Injury Law. We’re here to assist you! 

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