What is Colorado Dram Shop Law

You may know that you can file an injury claim against an intoxicated person if you are hurt. However, you may not realize that other parties may be involved who may be liable for your injuries.

In some cases, the person responsible for over serving an intoxicated individual may be liable if that person hurts someone. These are what are known as dram shop laws. Here’s what you need to know about the specifics of Colorado dram shop laws.

What is a dram shop law?

Dram shop laws get their name from a dram, which once referred to a unit of measurement for alcohol. Dram shops laws are meant to prevent establishments from over-serving alcohol.

The laws allow anyone who an intoxicated person has hurt to file civil lawsuits against establishments, staff, or even retail shop employees who sold the alcohol.

Does Colorado have dram shop laws?

Yes, Colorado’s laws regarding dram shop liability are explained in Colorado Revised Statutes section 12-47-801. The law says that a licensee as defined in the statute may be civilly liable to someone hurt as a cause of intoxication.

To be liable for injuries, the law states that the vendor of the alcohol:

  • Knowingly sold or served alcohol to any person under the age of 21
  • Knowingly sold or served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Is there a time limit to file a Colorado dram shop case?

Yes, the time limit for filing a dram shop lawsuit in Colorado is one year from the date of the injury.

Although exceptions may be allowed in particular circumstances, it’s essential to begin the process as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss your opportunity to recover for your losses.

Can I sue a Colorado establishment if I am hurt in a drunk driving accident?

Yes, you may be able to sue a Colorado business if you get hurt in a drunk driving crash.

Suppose a Colorado business served the intoxicated person who hurts you in a drunk driving crash alcohol while they were visibly intoxicated. In that case, the person who sold them alcohol may be responsible for your injuries.

Does Colorado have a social host law?

While dram shop laws hold bars and liquor or other stores responsible, when alcohol is over-served in a private setting like a party, that is known as social host liability.

Colorado’s social host liability laws say that a social host can only be liable for injuries if they knowingly served alcohol to a minor person under 21. If they over-serve a person over the age of 21, they cannot be held liable for injuries that result.

What do I have to prove in a Colorado dram shop case?

In order to prove your damages, you must show that the bar willingly sold alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated individual.

Proving willingness can be challenging in dram shop cases. Working with an attorney can help you thoroughly investigate all aspects of your situation to build evidence of liability.

The Steamboat Springs personal injury lawyers at Combs and Brown, LLC can help.

If you are hurt because of an intoxicated person, the injury attorneys at Combs and Brown are here to help. We know what it takes to bring a claim against a vendor for overserving.

We will work with you to search for liquor license violations, past disciplinary action, and other evidence that a business is responsible for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation