Oftentimes, Missouri drunk driving collisions lead to straightforward compensation claims. There is little question that one party is to blame for a crash because they got behind the wheel after drinking. Their insurance will cover the costs incurred by the affected parties, and their personal assets could be at risk if they don’t have enough coverage.
In some cases, those harmed in a drunk driving collision may have the option of pursuing a claim against a Missouri business under the state’s dram shop liability laws as well. There are typically two circumstances in which a business licensed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption could incur liability for a drunk driving collision.
1. Serving alcohol to a minor
Those under the age of 21 cannot lawfully possess or consume alcohol. They are also subject to a much stricter blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit than those who are old enough to legally drink. If an underage motorist who causes an impairment-related crash purchased their alcohol at a licensed establishment, the business may be liable for the crash because it served a minor.
2. Serving a visibly intoxicated adult
Just because someone is old enough to legally drink does not mean that a business can serve them as much alcohol as they choose to order. Businesses need to cut off patrons when they have had too much to drink, and they may face liability if staff members serve someone who is visibly drunk and then that patron goes on to cause a crash after leaving the premises.
Unfortunately, the wait staff at bars and restaurants often put their future gratuity ahead of compliance with liquor laws, and businesses may not aggressively enforce the rules because they make money off of the patrons that workers serve while violating state law. Those affected by poor alcohol service practices at a business could potentially bring a claim against that company following a drunk driving crash.
Looking into every option for compensation after a motor vehicle collision can help to protect those who have been affected by the irresponsible choices of others.