Overview of Florida’s Dram Shop Law

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2018 | Drunk Driving Accidents

It is a sad reality that in many cases, a drunk driver is also a driver who either does not carry automobile insurance at all or has only the minimum coverage which is no where near enough to pay compensation to victims after the intoxicated driver causes serious injuries in a car accident.

What this means is that, unless he or she is independently wealthy or at least solidly in the upper middle class, a drunk driver is likely going to have no means of paying for the highly preventable losses he or she inflicts on other people. If the deriver is also charged in criminal court, they may also be facing a lengthy stint in jail and thus will be unable to work any of their debt off.

Aside from turning to one’s own insurance policy, there are ways a Tampa-area victim of a drunk driving crash can pursue compensation from other sources.

For instance, like other states, Florida has a Dram Shop Law which makes those who serve alcohol liable for accidents their customers cause under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, Florida’s law isn’t as broad as those in other states, but it at least offers the prospect of some additional relief to certain accident victims.

Specifically, a bartender or anyone else who provides alcohol to someone who is not of legal drinking age, whether for money or not, is potentially liable to pay compensation if that youth gets drunk and then causes a car accident.

However, the person who provided the alcohol has to have acted “willfully”, meaning he or she wasn’t just duped by a clever kid but actually had little regard for Florida’s drinking age. Likewise, a bartender can be held accountable if he or she sells alcohol to someone who is an alcoholic and prone to drunkenness, but, again, the bartender has to know what he or she is doing, at least to some extent.


FindLaw Network

Client Stories

Imagine you are driving along minding your own business when a semi hits a median after crossing three lanes of traffic, blocking your lane. Unable to stop in time, you strike the truck’s cab with your much smaller vehicle. We don’t have to imagine that scenario because one of our clients lived it. Though he was unable to walk away from the crash without injury, we were able to help him walk away from the incident with a settlement that will make things easier for him and his family.