Indiana’s Dram Shop Act: How it could affect you after a drunk driving accident

If a drunk driver injures you, your first reaction may be to file a lawsuit against them. However, in Indiana, you also have another option. Indiana has a dram shop law. In specific circumstances, if someone injures you while they were intoxicated, you can hold the person who gave them alcohol responsible.

Two things must be true to be able to do this:

  • The person furnishing the alcoholic beverage had actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished.
  • The intoxication of the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was a proximate cause of the death, injury, or damage alleged in the complaint.

Can I sue a homeowner or only licensed premises?

The law applies to anyone who gave alcohol to the person regardless of whether money was involved or where it took place.

Does the dram law only apply to injuries caused by drunk driving?

No, it can apply to any injury you suffer as a result of someone being drunk. Here are some examples:

  • You are in a bar, and someone who is intoxicated becomes belligerent. Despite this, the bartender continues to serve them. If the drunk client then assaults you, you could claim against the bar or bartender for the injuries.
  • You are swimming at a friend’s pool party. Others are on the side downing tequila shots. The host continues to pour shots despite the people being drunk. One of them climbs the diving board and jumps into the pool, landing on you and injuring you. You may be able to claim against the host that continued to give them alcohol.

If you suffer an injury caused by someone who was intoxicated, seek the advice of an Indiana personal injury attorney. They can examine the circumstances and see if there is a possibility of filing a claim against the person who over-served alcohol as well as the drunk driver who injured you.