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Reminding You Of the Michigan Dram Shop Law This Holiday Season


The Michigan Dram shop law is embodied in Section 436.1801. The law provides that Michigan compiled laws Section 436.8101 is used to hold an alcohol vendor liable for an alcohol-related accident. If the alcohol is provided by the vendor to an individual who is a minor or a visibly drunk person, the liquor store owner, bar owner, or restaurant, could be held liable if it is proven that the vendor is the one liable for an alcohol-related accident.

It is called the dram shop law referring to what was previously used as liquor or dram.

Is the liability of the vendor automatic?

No, most business owners fear that the liability is automatic but it is not. The vendor will not be automatically held liable.

To be deemed legally liable, the vendor must have provided the alcohol to a minor who is under 21 years of age, a person who is already visibly intoxicated, or a person who is both.

How is being visibly drunk assessed?

Visible intoxication or visibly drunk is the act of one person who shows visible signs of being drunk such as red eyes, puking, talking nonsense, and any other activity that can lead an ordinary person to believe that he is under the influence. 

Scenarios:

Let us look at some scenarios that show the characteristics of being visibly drunk.

Scenario A

A person came into your bar. He showed you an identification card showing that he is already of age. You did not inquire any further despite showing that the person is not yet 21 and is not used to drinking. You continued serving their table some liquor up to the time that they were no longer able to walk. 

You saw them leaving but just allowed them to drive. An accident occurred causing damage to property and injuries to persons. Are you liable?

Answer: Yes, you may be held liable. Under the Michigan Draw Shop Liability Law, an individual may be held liable if he continued serving an individual who is under the age of 21 and continued serving liquor despite signs that the person is already visibly drunk. 

In this scenario, you are the proximate cause of the injury and as such you will be held liable by law. 

What is my defense in the matter? Here at Haque Legal, we have already handled hundreds of cases where the owner of the bar needs the right defense. In these kinds of cases, you must get the right lawyer to help you with the process of defense. You still have a fighting chance in this. Keep in mind that you were just doing your job, you should let us do ours as well.

Scenario B

A person came into your bar. Their group ordered a lot of liquor. You served them. However, upon noticing that they are close to their limit, you cut them off. You told them that for them to be able to drive home, you have to cut them off. They got mad. They walked out of your bar and went to the bar next to yours. On the second bar, they were served liquor and you have no idea how much. 

At around 4 am, you notice them leaving the establishment and driving off. They got into an accident. Are you liable under the dram shop liability laws in Michigan?

Answer: No, you are not liable under the dram shop liability laws in Michigan. The reason for this is because you cut off the group from drinking. You held your ground even though they walked out on you. 

Of course, you would still need to defend yourself when this happens. With that, Haque Legal can help you fight for your rights.

What is my defense in the matter? Here at Haque Legal, we have already handled hundreds of cases where the owner of the bar needs the right defense. In these kinds of cases, you must get the right lawyer to help you with the process of defense. You still have a fighting chance in this. Keep in mind that you were just doing your job, you should let us do ours as well.

This article is just the first one of the Dram Shop Liability Law articles in Michigan. The next articles will dive more into the law.  

Contact Your Lawyer Today

If you have a problem relating to dram shop liability in Michigan that you need assistance with, you should contact us today. A lawyer can help you get started with your defense. A lawyer at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.

Disclaimer

The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out

If you are having trouble with parties relating to dram shop liability, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.