Colorado is one of the handful of states with dram shop laws, and MGJ has handled dozens of cases involving establishments alleged to have served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual or minors who consequently cause death or injury to a third party.
Dram shop laws, which originated from the era when alcohol was sold in units called “drams”, one-eighth of a fluid ounce, were passed to place liability on the operators of liquor stores, bars, restaurants, taverns, sports stadiums and other commercial operations selling alcohol. Some state’s dram shop laws even extend to non-commercial entities where one might be over-served alcohol, including private homes or an employer’s private celebration. This portion of the statute, known as the “social host” provision, has limited application in Colorado, but claims are still brought against employers and private parties when intoxicated guests cause an accident involving personal injury, death or property damage.
Our experienced team of defense attorneys have dealt with dram shop liability cases. We understand the importance of “obvious intoxication” and role of the server in establishing coverage in such cases.