Iowa Dram Shop Law

Stoltze & Stoltze PLC

In a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register, one reader rings in on proposed changes to Iowa’s dram shop law (SF 1179/HSB 594), which seeks to limit compensation to victims of drunk drivers. If the changes are adopted, the fear is that the standard of visible intoxication is too vague and recovery limits may be capped at $75K.

What are Dram Shop Laws?

Generally, Iowa dram shop law holds that a bar owner, liquor licensee, or permittee such as a bartender who sells and serves alcohol to an intoxicated person or continues to serve a person to the point of intoxication may be liable if that person later gets into a motor vehicle accident or assaults someone. The bottom line is that bars and other drinking establishments licensed to service alcohol are legally required to exercise reasonable care.

If someone is injured in a car accident at the hands of an intoxicated driver leaving a bar, for example, they may be able to sue the bar owner for medical bills, lost wages, damage to property, as well as pain and suffering. If a fatality results, families may pursue a wrongful death claim. This is also true if an intoxicated person gets into a fight, injuring one or more persons.

Des Moines Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver or have been assaulted by an intoxicated person, you may be able to draw a line to the source of their drinking for compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, intoxicated people and their companions frequenting area bars are sometimes not the best judge of impairment, so bar owners have to be accountable for serving patrons responsibly or risk injury to others. Contact the Des Moines personal injury law offices of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for more information regarding Iowa dram shop law today.

Source: Des Moines Register, “Bill inhibits compensation for drunken-driving victims” accessed February 15, 2018