“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is New Jersey law enforcement’s campaign to deter drunk driving, particularly during the holiday season. State and local agencies plan to increase DWI checkpoints and road patrols. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA), alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 31 percent of motorist fatalities in 2012. In New Jersey, 28.7 percent of the fatal crashes reported last year involved people who had consumed alcohol.
In addition to seeking damages from an impaired driver who causes an injury, you may also be entitled to damages from a social host or dramshop. Social host and dramshop laws are aimed at preventing drunk driving and minimizing fatalities by creating liability for hosts and taverns that contribute to negligent drinking behavior.
Bartenders held liable under Dram Shop Act
A server or bartender at a licensed drinking establishment may be held liable if:
The server acted negligently in serving alcohol.
The injury was the result of the negligent serving of alcohol.
The injury was foreseeable as a consequence of the negligent serving of alcohol.
New Jersey courts interpret the statute narrowly. Licensed servers can be found negligent only when they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor. If liable, the drinking establishment is responsible for the percentage of damages equal to the percentage of negligence attributable to the server.
Social Host Liability Statute
A person who provides alcoholic beverages to invited guests is a social host. Such hosts can be held responsible for injuries or damage arising out of a motor vehicle accident caused by a visibly intoxicated guest. Under New Jersey’s statute, the host may be held liable for a guest whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured 0.10 percent or more.
These laws are designed to avoid tragedies on our roadways. If an alcohol or drug-impaired driver injures you or your loved ones, contact a New Jersey injury attorney. Let us help you find justice.