Pocatello Personal Injury Attorneys | Se Habla Español

Can a Liquor Store, Bar, or Party Host Be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?

In cases of drunk driving accidents, the driver is almost always held completely responsible for the injuries they have caused to others. While drunk drivers should be liable for harming people, they may not be the only party at fault. A drunk driver’s ability to drive under the influence could have been enabled by the people who provided them with alcohol.

Selling someone alcohol or giving a person drinks at a social event is not wrong in and of itself, but such a transaction can become dangerous if the person who was given alcohol eventually drives drunk and injures someone. The supplier of alcohol, whether a business or individual, can be held liable for resulting injuries under statutes known as “dram shop laws.”

Dram Shop Laws in Idaho

Under dram shop laws, liability can be assigned to third parties who had a role in a drunk driving accident by providing alcohol to someone who drove under the influence. The terms of dram shop laws vary by state.

In Idaho, businesses such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores can be held accountable for drunk driving accident damages if the driver (their customer) was under the age of 21 or was obviously intoxicated at the time of purchase. Generally, the manager or owner of the at-fault business will be held liable, rather than an individual employee who sold the alcohol.

Idaho’s dram shop laws allow for hosts of social events to be held liable for drunk driving accidents as well. The rules are similar to those applied to vendor liability — if an underaged or obviously intoxicated person was served alcohol at a party and eventually injured someone in a drunk driving accident, the host could be held liable for damages.

How to Determine Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident

Identifying liable third parties in a drunk driving accident case can be complex. It is difficult to determine if somebody was obviously intoxicated when they were served alcohol, but this can be done through witness accounts or surveillance footage. It may also be accomplished if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the accident was high enough that it is determined that they must have been intoxicated when purchasing alcohol. In cases involving a drunk driver who is under the age of 21, determining third-party liability may be a little simpler.

Our legal team can help you identify all parties who may be liable for your damages and ensure they are held accountable for their actions — contact us today.

To discuss your case during a consultation with our attorneys, call (208) 623-8021 or contact us online.


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