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Dram Shop & Social Host Liability in New York State and Orange County

You already know about the alarming frequency and tragic consequences of drunk driving car accidents, and you probably already know that accident victims can bring lawsuits against drunk drivers to make them pay for the harm they have caused. But what about the persons or establishments which furnished the alcohol? Are there ever any circumstances in which they should bear some of the responsibility for the accident? In fact there are several ways under New York state law and local Orange County law that bars, restaurants, liquor stores and even private persons may be liable when the person they furnish alcohol to injures another in a car accident or pedestrian accident. Read on to learn when dram shop liability and social host liability apply, and call the Hudson Valley personal injury attorneys at Dupée & Monroe in Goshen for help with your case.

Dram Shop Liability in New York

A trio of New York state laws – General Obligations Laws 11-100 and 11-101, and Alcohol Beverage Control Law 65 – come together to form New York’s dram shop liability law. Under these laws, it is illegal to serve or sell alcohol to a person who is either visibly intoxicated or who is known to be habitually drunk. It is also illegal to furnish alcohol to any person who is or appears to be under 21 years old. Not only are these actions illegal, but New York’s dram shop liability law expressly creates a cause of action allowing a person injured by a drunk driver to bring a lawsuit against a person or establishment that violates this law. The law allows the injured party to recover actual damages (medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering) as well as exemplary damages, which are additional damages levied against a wrongdoer to serve as an example to others of the type of behavior that society will not tolerate.

Social Host Liability in Orange County

New York’s dram shop laws have been held not to apply in the case of a social host. However, Orange County did enact such a law in 2016. Local Law No. 2 of 2016, the Orange County Social Host Law, specifically makes it illegal for a person who is 18 years old or older to knowingly allow a person under 21 to drink in their home or at a party they are hosting, wherever that may be. This law includes the situation where a person learns that a minor is present and drinking but does not take reasonable corrective action. A first offense violation of this law subjects the person to a $500 fine. A second offense is a misdemeanor which carries the penalty of a $1,000 fine, a year in jail, or both. Exceptions in the law are provided where the parent of a minor is present and has expressly permitted the alcohol consumption, or where consumption is carried out for religious purposes.

Experienced Legal Representation is Needed

Proving a case of dram shop liability or social host liability can be challenging and complex. For instance, the injured plaintiff must prove that the driver was visibly intoxicated or known to be a habitual drunkard, or that a person appeared to be under 21, in order to impose dram shop liability on a restaurant or bar. For social host liability in Orange County, it is necessary to prove the host knowingly allowed an underage person to drink. At Dupée & Monroe, P.C., we understand what it takes to properly investigate and uncover the facts behind a traffic accident. We work hard to build a strong a case that proves the liability of a responsible party. Our experienced personal injury attorneys thoroughly investigate the case and seek to hold all responsible parties accountable for their role in causing an accident.

Get the Maximum Compensation You Need and Deserve in a Hudson Valley Car Accident Injury

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Hudson Valley car accident or pedestrian accident caused by an intoxicated driver, call Dupée & Monroe in Goshen at 845-294-8900 for a free consultation regarding your potential claims.

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