Alcohol is a major factor in many deadly vehicle accidents. Drunk drivers endanger all who share the streets and highways, often causing accidents that seriously injure the innocent. In Wisconsin, if a minor was involved in a drunk driving collision, those who provided the alcohol may be liable for the accident under the Dram Shop Law.
Unfortunately, the laws in Wisconsin are stacked in favor of bars, restaurants, and others who negligently overserve alcohol to customers. The Dram shop law in Wisconsin states “a person is immune from civil liability arising out of the act of procuring alcohol beverages for selling, dispensing, or giving away alcohol to another person.” This statute covers both “dram shop” situations — in which alcohol is sold by a licensed vendor — and social host situations in which alcohol is served to guests. However, one important exception to this is where the seller or provider of alcohol knew – or should have known – that the person had not reached the legal drinking age. However, where the underage person uses a fake ID to obtain the alcohol and falsely represents that he or she is of legal drinking age, immunity may still apply.
The law makes it possible to bring a civil claim against any party who knowingly provided alcohol to a minor, after which the minor person caused injury to a third party. To prove a case requires establishing that the individual or entity who provided the alcohol knew, or should have known, that the minor was underage. Our investigation team will work to gather supporting evidence, whether through witness interviews, obtaining and reviewing video footage and photographs, or other data to support the lawsuit.
The number of drunk driving injury accidents in Milwaukee has continued to rise. Unfortunately, many of the drivers are underage. The Department of Transportation reports that in one recent year, there were 24,000 convictions for impaired driving, 5,174 alcohol-related collisions, and 190 traffic deaths, with an average of one person being killed or injured every 2.9 hours in the state. The driver age was found to play a significant role in these accidents, as 47 percent of these crashes involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 20.
Some parents allow their underage children to host parties where they, along with their underage friends, consume alcohol. This is illegal. If a minor person is served alcohol with the consent of an adult host, then drives drunk and injures someone else, a civil case may be brought against the parent or parents who procured the alcohol.
Persons injured by a drunk minor should seek immediate legal representation from Cannon & Dunphy S.C. The responsible party must be held accountable – justice must be served. Our firm is recognized as the premier personal injury law firm in Milwaukee and has achieved over $1 billion in damages for our clients to date. We seek the maximum possible in damages in every case.
Our goal is to achieve justice for those who have been injured due to a negligent or reckless act. Call us to discuss your case today – we do not charge fees unless we are successful in recovering damages. Call now.