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Describing Illinois' dram shop law

Imagine being involved in an automobile accident on the streets of Peoria that leaves you with severe injuries as well as extensive damage to your vehicle. Then imagine discovering that the driver who caused the collision was driving while intoxicated. If such a scenario has already happened to you, your situation is the same as many of those that we here at Parker and Parker Attorneys at Law have helped in the past. In such an accident, there may be little question as to whether or not the drunk driver is liable. Yet can that liability be extended to those who helped him or her get to such a state? 

Dram shop laws describe statutes that assign vicarious liability to parties that provided alcohol to an individual whose subsequent impairment later causes damage. According to the Civil Jury Instructions issued by the Illinios Judiciary, you can indeed hold third parties accountable for the drunken actions of others. Dram shop liability extends to both business that sell alcoholic beverages, as well as the lessors or owners of the premises on which they are sold.

To apply dram shop liability to your case, you typically have to prove the following:

  • The one who caused your accident was intoxicated when it occurred 
  • The third party provided him or her with alcohol
  • That alcohol caused his or her intoxication
  • Your accident was the result of his or her intoxication
  • You suffered injuries and/or incurred property damage

Notice how you are not required to show that the person who caused your accident was visibly drunk when the provider served him or her alcohol. Instead, the fact that it served the alcohol is sufficient to meet this standard. 

You can learn more about dealing with personal injury cases by continuing to read through our site. 

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