What is a Connecticut Dram Shop Action Against the Seller of Alcohol for Injury or Death Caused by a Drunk or Intoxicated Driver?
Here is an example. Dan Defendant is already intoxicated. He goes to the ABC Bar. The bartender suspects that Dan is already under the influence but sells Dan alcohol anyway. (It is against the law for a bar to provide alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated.) Dan then leaves the bar, gets into his car, and crashes into a car, killing Sally.
Sally’s Estate can now make at least two claims: (1) against Dan as the driver of the car (and his car insurance company); and (2) against the ABC Bar (and the bar’s insurance company) under the Connecticut Dram Shop Act.
Connecticut General Statute Section 30-102 provides an exception to the common law rule that says a person hurt by a drunk person cannot make a claim against the person who provided the alcohol to the drunk person. (Please note that there are other exceptions to this common law rule in addition to the Dram Shop statute and they will be covered in other FAQ’s.)
Please note these important points about a Connecticut Dram Shop claim that make it different from other injury or death claims in Connecticut:
- a notice containing specific information must be given to the seller of the alcohol within 120 days of the accident or incident that caused the injury;
- the statute of limitations for a Connecticut Dram Shop is only one year (compared to two years for most other tort claims); and
- the maximum recovery is only $250,000.
Please see the other FAQ’s for more information on Connecticut Dram Shop claims.
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