In Scotland, the word “dram” was commonly used to describe a serving of whiskey. Although there is an official measurement for a dram, it’s a tiny amount, and not enough to even begin warming a person’s gut on a cold and wet night. Now, a more conventional use of the word “dram” describes something more than a shot of whiskey. It’s more like a mouthful. A dram shop was a place where a person could purchase one or more mouthfuls of spirits to help rid their body of cold and dampness.
Florida’s Dram Shop Statute
For purposes of public policy and safety, 43 states and the District of Columbia have enacted dram shop laws. Florida is one of those states. Its dram shop law is found at Florida Statute 768.125. As per the statute, a person injured by a drunk driver or the personal representative of an individual who was killed by a drunk driver is allowed to seek compensation for damages from a liquor store, bar, restaurant, bartender or even a social host who gifted alcoholic beverages to a driver who caused an alcohol-related crash.
Florida’s Dram Shop Statute is Narrow in Scope
What distinguishes Florida from other states with dram shop laws is the fact that nearly all of the other states’ statutes contemplate the sale or gift of alcoholic beverages to people who are already intoxicated. Florida’s dram shop law limits liability to the sale or gift of alcoholic beverages to “habitually affected” drinkers and individuals under 21 years of age.
The good news about Florida’s dram shop law is that unlike some other states, there are no damages caps on dram shop liability. A victim’s damages can include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Any permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Diminished quality of life.
- Other substantial damages in the event of a wrongful death.
Given the fact that injuries and damages to third parties can be far more severe and costly in drunk driving crashes, Florida’s dram shop statute might operate to the benefit of innocent victims of accidents who were severely or catastrophically injured by drunk and uninsured drivers. If you believe that you were injured or lost a loved one as the result of the negligence of a drunk driver, all sources of possible compensation must be investigated. Aside from the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident, you might be able to have a third party held liable too.
Contact a Tampa Dram Shop Liability Lawyer.
Contact Hancock Injury Attorneys right away after being injured or losing a loved one in any alcohol-related accident in or around Hillsborough County. We want to know what happened, and we’ll be pleased to answer your questions. After that, you’ll be advised of all of your rights to compensation. Our objective is to maximize that compensation for you.