Is a Restaurant or Intoxicated Customer to Blame for an Iowa Car Crash

Have you ever been in a restaurant or bar in Iowa in which you have identified a person who appears to be already intoxicated, yet the establishment continues to serve more alcoholic beverages to that customer? This behavior happens more than you would like to think. Maybe it is because the restaurant would like to make more money by profiting from the sales, or maybe the server is not paying attention. Whatever the case, it is illegal in the state of Iowa for a business to serve alcohol to customers who may reach the point of intoxication or who are already intoxicated.

What happens when the intoxicated person leaves the establishment?

If this intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of their vehicle and gets into a Cedar Rapids car crash, the restaurant or other establishment may be held liable. If you are the injured victim, or if you've lost a family member to a drunk driver in Iowa, you may have legal grounds for compensation from that establishment as well.

If it is proven that the establishment was serving that customer alcohol and that person was already intoxicated or was not fit to be served, you have grounds to bring a civil lawsuit against that company. According to the Iowa Supreme Court, "Iowa's dramshop statute is intended to place a hand of restraint on persons permitted to sell liquor and should be construed liberally to discourage the selling of excess liquor." The dramshop laws are intended to protect the public, to establish liability if an alcohol-related crash occurred that injured a third party, and to hold the establishment responsible that profited in the sales of alcohol.

For the seller of the alcohol to be held liable, there needs to be proof that they sold a person who was already drunk more liquor. Under this Iowa dramshop statute, the injured third party can sue the establishment who served the intoxicated person for property damages, the loss of family support, and for monetary damages. The intoxicated person typically has no legal grounds to sue the establishment if he or she is injured in the Iowa car accident.

In Iowa, we can hold retailers accountable for selling or serving too much alcohol to already intoxicated people. If you have been injured by a drunk driver in Iowa, contact experienced personal injury attorneys today. It is extremely critical to your case to file a lawsuit soon after the accident since the statute of limitations in these types of cases is short. Call Brady Preston Gronlund today at (319) 866-9277 and find out if you have a legal case under the Iowa dramshop liability act.