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Rochester Dram Shop and Social Host Liability Laws

The Dietrich Law Firm, P.C., Is Recognized as a Best Law Firm of America. Our Experienced Attorneys Know How to Ascertain Justice. Founded by Recognized Super Lawyer Jed Dietrich, Esq., The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. is Committed to Providing Unparalleled Personal Injury Service to Anyone Who Was Injured in a Rochester, New York, Drunk Driving Accident.


Rochester Dram Shop and Social Host Liability Laws Drunk driving has been termed an epidemic. Each year, millions of Americans drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the National Center for DWI Courts, alcohol-related automobile accidents not only cost the economy an estimated $44 billion in damages annually—they also cost countless lives. In one recent year, nearly 11,000 people were killed by drunk drivers, constituting one-quarter of all traffic fatalities.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a drunk driving automobile accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant damages through a personal injury lawsuit. However, car crash claims can present unexpected challenges—especially when alcohol is involved. While you might have a seemingly open-and-shut claim, the at-fault, intoxicated motorist’s insurance coverages may not be sufficient to cover your existing and anticipated expenses. Fortunately, accident victims have options beyond the other motorist’s insurance policy. Under New York’s dram shop laws, alcohol vendors—including servers, bartenders, and nightclubs—could be liable for the costs of an alcohol-related car crash.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has spent decades aggressively advocating for the rights of Rochester drunk driving accident victims. Our highly experienced attorneys know what it takes to hold drunk drivers and their enablers accountable. Since founding the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. in 2005, Jed Dietrich, Esq., has helped his clients secure more than $175 million in damages—money that our clients have used to eradicate their medical debt, seek high-quality health care, and begin rebuilding their lives. We could help you, too. Please send the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. a message online or call us at (585) 939-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

New York State’s Dram Shop And Social Host Liability Laws

Social Host Liability Laws Drunk drivers often have enablers. When these enablers supply alcohol to a person who should not be drinking, they could also be held liable for the costs of an ensuing accident. New York’s dram shop laws are defined by:

  1. New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligation Law 11-100: Any individual who incurs damages to their person, property, or means of support as the result of the intoxication of a minor has the right to take legal action against any person, party, or entity that knowingly provided the minor with alcohol.
  2. New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligation Law 11-101: Any individual who incurs damages to their person, property, or means of support as the result of the intoxication of another person has the right to take legal action against any person, party, or entity that knowingly provided the intoxicated person with alcohol.

In addition to its dram shop laws, New York also has a social host liability law, which is sometimes called the Alcohol Purchase Age Law. Under the Alcohol Purchase Age Law, a social host is typically an adult who serves alcohol in a non-commercial setting. A social host could be held liable for the costs of an alcohol-related accident if:

  1. The social host provides alcohol to a minor;
  2. The minor subsequently causes an accident; and
  3. The accident results in injuries.

While New York’s dram shop and social host liability laws allow accident victims to file personal injury claims against the enablers of drunk drivers, these laws are not unassailable: oftentimes, alcohol vendors and social hosts try to evade accountability by saying they did not realize that the at-fault party was underage or intoxicated. If you, or a loved one, have been injured by a drunk driver in or around Rochester, our experienced team of attorneys could help you file a personal injury claim, fighting for the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Please call us today at (585) 939-3939 to schedule a consultation and explore your options for legal relief.

HAVE YOU OR A LOVED ONE BEEN INJURED BY A DRUNK DRIVER IN OR AROUND ROCHESTER?

IF SO, YOU NEED TO ACT FAST: NEW YORK HAS A STRICT STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS THAT LIMITS HOW LONG YOU HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR PERSONAL INJURIES. IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG TO TAKE ACTION, YOUR CASE COULD BE AUTOMATICALLY DISMISSED.

CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ., AND HIS TEAM OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS AT (585) 939-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU NEED!

An Experienced Attorney Can Help You File A Successful Dram Shop Lawsuit

Before filing a personal injury lawsuit under New York’s dram shop or social host liability laws, presumptive plaintiffs must have compelling evidence that:

  1. The person who caused the accident was intoxicated at the time of the collision;
  2. The alcohol vendor or social host provided alcohol to the drunk driver; and
  3. The alcohol vendor or social host’s provision of alcohol caused or contributed to the drunk driver’s intoxication.

However, alcohol vendors do have a number of potential defenses in dram shop claims. For example, the alcohol vendor could claim that:

  1. They had no way of knowing that the person who caused the accident, the tortfeasor, was underage;
  2. They had no way of knowing that the tortfeasor was intoxicated; or
  3. That a third party lawfully procured the alcohol before transferring it to the tortfeasor off-premises.

Successful claims are typically contingent upon the careful collection and analysis of evidence. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you bolster your dram shop lawsuit by:

  1. Investigating the alcohol vendor’s certifications, training, and history of sale violations;
  2. Reviewing the at-fault motorist’s credit card statement to determine how much alcohol they consumed at the specified venue or venues;
  3. Subpoenaing the bar or restaurant’s surveillance camera footage to see whether the tortfeasor was exhibiting visible signs of intoxication; and
  4. Speaking to eyewitnesses who observed the alcohol transactions or could testify to the at-fault driver’s state of intoxication.

While the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you investigate the causes of your Monroe County drunk driving accident, it is imperative that you act fast: New York has a strict statute of limitations on all personal injury claims. If you wait too long to take action, the statute of limitations could expire, leading the court to automatically dismiss your lawsuit without giving you the chance to tell your side of the story. Do not delay. Please call Jed Dietrich, Esq., at (585) 939-3939 today.


Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at (585) 939-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Rochester, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
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I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
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Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
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No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
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The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
★★★★★
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
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