Car Accident Lawyer in Maryland: How New Legislation Could Help Victims of DUI Accidents in Maryland

Dram shop liability refers to legislation that holds commercial vendors responsible for selling alcoholic beverages to certain patrons who cause injury to others. Maryland currently has no such law to protect victims of drunk drivers. A bill introduced to the Maryland General Assembly seeks to add a dram shop statute to the books. The new law would help victims of DUI accidents recover damages from the businesses that irresponsibly contributed to the devastating circumstances.

More than 160 people were killed and many more were injured by drunk drivers in Maryland in 2011. The dram shop bill presented to the House, titled Civil Action – Wrongfully Selling or Furnishing Alcoholic Beverages, would make it easier for injured victims to sue the negligent drinking establishment in civil court if:

  • The liquor vendor or its employee knew or should have known that the patron was younger than 21 years old or should have realized that a patron of any age was visibly intoxicated
  • The vendor or its employee could foresee that the patron might attempt to drive after drinking alcoholic beverages
  • The patron does drive or attempts to drive after consuming alcoholic beverages
  • The patron’s negligent driving or attempt to drive an automobile is the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries or death

The bill contains a statute of limitations of one year from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit. Also, the victim has the burden of proving the business’ liability by clear and convincing evidence — meaning it is more likely than not that the vendor violated the statute.

Bars, clubs and restaurants make money off of serving drunk customers as much alcohol as possible. By shifting the burden to these businesses, DUI accident victims are given more options to recover their rightful compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI accident, a skilled car accident lawyer in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.