Page - DRAM SHOP & HOSPITALITY
What Are Dram Shop Laws?
Dram shop laws make bars and other alcohol-selling establishments liable for injuries that are caused by intoxicated persons to whom they have served alcoholic beverages. Under these laws, the bar or tavern owner may be held liable for damages and injuries to third-parties that were the result of their patron’s intoxication. Dram shop laws typically apply to over-serving patrons, meaning the individual is visibly or obviously intoxicated.
Most states have some form of dram shop law in effect. However, they vary greatly from state to state.
What Does Illinois’ Dram Shop Law Regulate?
Illinois’ dram shop law is entitled the “Liquor Control Act.” Under the act, commercial establishments are held liable for any damages or injuries caused by intoxicated persons, provided it can be proven that:
- The vendor sold alcohol to the patron
- Injuries or damages were in fact caused by the patron
- The business was theproximate cause of the intoxication
- The intoxication was at least one major cause in the third-party’s injury
Illinois’ dram shop law is somewhat unique among state laws. This is because there is no requirement that the business have knowledge or reason to know that the person was already intoxicated. This is very different from other states which require at least noticing that the person is visibly intoxicated. Thus, the Illinois dram shop act ostensibly permits plaintiffs to recover from multiple establishments. For example, if an intoxicated person had drinks at several different bars and then struck a person with their automobile, the injured person may recover from each bar if they can satisfy the above requirements.
Does Illinois’ Dram Shop Law Contain Any Special Provisions?
Illinois’ dram shop law contains a special provisions regarding the law’s applicability across state lines. The Illinois dram shop act is only enforced across state lines if the neighboring state has a similar dram shop act. For example, suppose a person consumed alcoholic beverages at an Illinois bar, then drove across state lines through the state of Kentucky, where they caused an accident which resulted in injuries to a third-party. In this case, the Illinois bar will be liable for any injuries caused across state lines only if Kentucky has a dram shop law which is similar to that of Illinois. However, if Kentucky does not have a dram shop law in effect, then the Illinois bar will not be held liable.
Thus, since many states do not have a dram shop law similar to Illinois, the application of the law to liability across state lines tends to be very limited.
Should I Hire an Illinois Lawyer for a Dram Shop Issue?
Legal issues regarding dram shop violations are very serious, because they often involve multiple parties and serious injuries. A dram shop claim can quickly become complicated if it involves multiple business establishments or injuries caused in another state. For these reasons, it is important that you work closely with an Illinois attorney, whether you were a patron, the injured party, or associated with the establishment. A personal injury lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected in the event of a lawsuit.
relate to food service, travel, and lodging industries. It governs the various nuances of the hotel, restaurant, bar, spa, country club, meeting, and convention industries, among others. Much like entertainment law, homeowners’ association law, and other specialty fields, hospitality law is much more a description of the types of clients who seek out the attorneys who focus their practices in these areas rather than an actual set of laws. Hospitality law commonly encompasses a wide array of laws including contracts, anti-trust, torts, real estate, and many others.
Recent spurts of food poisoning cases and increasing awareness of food illnesses have brought hospitality laws front and center in the public conscience. Similarly, terrorist attacks against hotels abroad have also demonstrated the importance of hospitality law even in international affairs, especially as they pertain to protecting guests from harm.
While hospitality law covers many different types of businesses, hotels and restaurants are the two most common hospitality law clients. American hotel operators have a number of legal duties to their guests. They are expected to protect guests’ safety and avoid negligence. Hotels must also protect the confidentiality of their guests’ identifying information. They must hire, manage, and fire employers just like any other business, and they must prepare and execute a seemingly endless stream of contracts. Moreover, hotels must also obligate to protect their guests from criminal harms, like theft of belongings left in the rooms or other harms, possibly even terrorist attacks.
Restaurants, on the other hand, have a duty to sell food that is suitable for human consumption. Many states have enacted “Truth in Menu” laws governing descriptions of food items on menus to allow customers to make healthier choices and to ensure that the customer receives exactly what they ordered (for example, 10 chicken wings will be 10 wings, not 9). The federal government also has a plethora of food regulations that restaurants must abide by, such as warnings regarding trans fats. Restaurants must also protect customers against slips and falls, food poisoning, and other personal injuries.
Both industries also commonly deal with anti-trust issues, franchise agreements, supply chain and other commercial transactions, labor disputes, and a variety of other legal issues.