Louisiana Law on Liquor Vendor Liability
Under Louisiana law, “the consumption of intoxicating beverages,
rather than the sale or serving or furnishing of such beverages”
is the legal cause of injury that results from the actions of an intoxicated
person. This law differs from many jurisdictions which implement what
are called “dram shop laws,” recognizing that liquor vendors
may be liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated patron to whom the
vendor sold alcohol.
However, Louisiana courts have left the door open to holding liquor vendors
liable for serving minors alcoholic beverages. In
Berg vs. Zummo, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that the immunities carved out under
Section 9:2800.1 did not extend to vendors who sold or furnished alcohol
to persons under the legal age for purchasing alcohol.
The Court reasoned that when an underage person hosts a party that offers
alcohol to their underage guests, the duty-risk principles of negligence
apply, even though Section 9:2800.1 also grants immunity to social hosts
for injuries caused by intoxicated persons. The Court justified restricting
immunity granted under the statute in accordance with Louisiana’s
public policy against exposing minors to intoxicating beverages, especially
when driving an automobile.
As a result, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that liquor vendors
have “a duty to refrain from selling or serving alcohol to minors”
and that they will be liable for injuries caused by an underage drunk
patron. Thus, the answer to the question “are liquor vendors liable
for drunk driving accidents?” is: No, unless the driver who caused
the accident was under the legal drinking age and the vendor contributed
to their intoxication.
Find a Skilled New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
If a drunk driver caused an accident, injuring you or a loved one, you
might be entitled to receive compensation for such injuries. For legal
advice about your right to recover damages for your injuries, you should
consult an experienced
New Orleans car accident attorney from the
Womac Law Firm. We have proudly served Louisiana residents for over 35 years, fighting
for their right to hold accountable those who negligently caused injury.
For more information about your legal options, call the Womac Law Firm
at (504) 486-9999 or
contact us online today for a free consultation.