While drinking and driving always comes with some degree of risk, having one or two drinks will rarely inhibit your judgment and reaction speed to the point of being dangerous. The legal blood alcohol content limit for individuals operating a vehicle in Alabama is 0.08 percent, a substantially higher number than one would typically reach after just one drink.
If the server at a bar or restaurant overserves you on alcohol, though, you might reach a higher BAC much faster than you might realize. If this decision to overserve results in you experiencing an accident and sustaining an injury, then you need to know if you have valid grounds to pursue legal action.
What are Alabama’s dram shop laws?
Under Alabama’s recently-reformed dram shop act, bartenders are liable for damages and injuries incurred by visibly intoxicated customers whom they continue to serve. These dram shop laws also apply if an innocent third party suffers as a result of the intoxicated individual’s actions. The dram shop act exists in acknowledgment of the fact that intoxicated individuals are not fully responsible if a bartender intentionally or unknowingly serves them an extensive amount of alcohol.
When do dram shop laws apply?
While it can be up to interpretation whether or not a bartender overserved alcohol to a customer, Alabama bartenders do have a responsibility to recognize intoxicated behavior. This includes acts of aggression, stumbling, slurred speech or the scent of liquor on one’s breath.
Dram shop laws, also known as liquor liability laws, can protect you if you become intoxicated with no intention of your own. If you have evidence or witness testimony on your side, you may have a very strong case that a bar overserved you on alcohol prior to your accident.