Dram Shop, The Toxicology and the Law


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About This Course

Attorneys may regularly encounter criminal cases involving alcohol, such as DUI cases. But what about civil personal injury cases where alcohol is involved? One such example is the dram shop case. A driver who is intoxicated following the use of alcohol may or may not have been visibly intoxicated while served at an establishment. If an injury occurs, was it a result of that patron being overserved? Was the patron underage? Dram shop statutes will vary from state to state; however, there are some key points for attorneys to know.

Although there are many scenarios in civil litigation where alcohol may be involved, this CLE program is an overview of the toxicology of alcohol with a focus on the legal aspects of dram shop cases. What are some toxicology pearls that attorneys need to know about these cases? How and when does alcohol manifest (signs of) intoxication? What about blood alcohol levels and visible intoxication? What are the theories of liability under dram shop statutes? What are the common defenses to liability? What are some pitfalls and nuances to dram shop cases from the legal aspect of the lawsuit? Are there recovery and insurance issues to be aware of? These and other questions will be answered in this CLE program presented by a toxicologist and an attorney specializing in defending dram shop claims. Faculty will also share insights, unique challenges, and modifications surrounding a dram shop jury trial that took place during COVID-19. Plaintiff and defense counsel alike, across the US, can benefit from the education presented in this CLE.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the two types of tolerance from alcohol use.
  • Describe the correlation between blood alcohol levels and signs of visible intoxication.
  • Identify 3 key pitfalls in the litigation of a dram shop case.
  • Identify 1 challenge in litigating a dram shop case from the defense side.
  • Identify 1 challenge in litigating a dram shop case from the plaintiff side.

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