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Can a Party Host Be Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?

The holiday season is a time of celebration and quality time with loved ones. For some people, their holiday festivities may include drinking alcohol. Plenty of holiday partiers celebrate responsibly, but many don’t — and each year, there is a spike in drunk driving accidents as a result.

Drunk driving cases typically focus on the individual liability of the driver. In no-fault states like Florida, liability may not even be a question. But as the victim of a drunk driving accident or the loved one of a victim, you want everyone who is responsible for your pain and suffering to be held accountable for their negligence. In drunk driving accident cases, liability may not only fall on the driver. It is possible for a person who supplied the drunk driver with alcohol to share fault.

Dram Shop Laws in Florida

Throughout the United States, “dram shop laws” establish the possibility of a person who supplied a drunk driver with alcohol to be accountable for accident damages. The terms of dram shop laws — including who can be held liable and under what conditions — vary between states.

In Florida, dram shop laws only apply to businesses such as bars and restaurants. The dram shop laws in the Sunshine State do not include a “visible intoxication” clause like some states, which only allow the laws to take effect if the server knew they were serving a drunk person or knew that person would be driving under the influence. Unfortunately, an individual who hosted a private party cannot legally be held responsible for car accident damages in the state of Florida — the law applies to businesses only.

Can You Sue a Drunk Driver in a No-Fault State?

Although dram shop laws do not include social hosts, filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver could be an option for recovering damages in addition to your insurance coverage. Florida is a no-fault state, but drunk driving is an example of significant negligence that could entitle an injury victim to additional coverage, especially in cases of severe injury and wrongful death.

The Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. legal team is committed to helping car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. If you were injured in a collision with a drunk driver and are curious about your rights, contact us today.

If you are interested in discussing your case with our attorneys during a free consultation, call (941) 960-7225 or send us a message.

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