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What Are Dram Shop Laws?

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Dram shop laws account for the possibility that parties other than the driver may be liable in cases of drunk driving accidents. Although drunk drivers often face criminal charges for their actions and are responsible for the majority of damages if they are faced with civil liability, some situations give way to third-party liability as well.

These laws consider the ways in which the negligence of businesses and individuals who provide alcoholic beverages can contribute to drunk driving accidents. While it is the driver’s choice to get behind a wheel while intoxicated, others may be at fault for giving alcohol to a person who is noticeably drunk, or under the age of 21.

Does New Hampshire Have Dram Shop Laws?

Yes, the state of New Hampshire does have dram shop laws in place. The terms of these laws are different in every state; for example, the laws in some states only apply to businesses while others account for the liability of private individuals. Others only recognize third-party liability if a minor was served alcohol.

In New Hampshire, the dram shop laws state that third-party liability may be recognized if the person who was served alcohol and eventually drove drunk was under the age of 21 or was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served. In these cases, the bar, restaurant, or liquor store could face liability in relation to a drunk driving accident for over serving a patron or giving alcohol to a minor. Liability will fall on the company and its management, rather than individual bartenders, servers, or cashiers.

Typically, the dram shop laws in New Hampshire only apply to businesses. However, private individuals (such as someone who hosted a party) may be held liable in certain circumstances.

Under New Hampshire’s dram shop laws, it is possible for the victims of drunk driving accidents to recover additional compensation from the businesses and social hosts who provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.

The legal team of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can represent you if you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers can evaluate the details of your case to identify all liable parties. We will work to hold all negligent parties accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (603) 288-1403.