Young adults can be reckless. They may take risks, especially behind the wheel, that more experienced drivers may not take. This includes drunk driving.
A drunk driving crash can cause serious injuries. If you are injured in a drunk driving accident you will want to hold all appropriate parties accountable. This includes pursuing damages against the underage drunk driver as well as the establishment that provided them with alcohol.
How dangerous is underage drunk driving?
Age 21 is the legal drinking age in North Carolina and across the nation. Those under age 21 may not understand how alcohol affects their driving abilities. They also may not be experienced enough drivers to handle their vehicles safely. Even having a blood-alcohol concentration of of 0.02, well below the legal limit for those age 21 or older, can make it more difficult for drivers to track moving objects or do more than one task at the same time.
What is dram shop liability?
It is likely that you will want to file a lawsuit if you are injured in a drunk driving accident caused by an underaged driver. In addition to holding the underage driver accountable, you may also be able to hold the establishment that provided them with alcohol accountable. This is known as dram shop liability.
You need to satisfy certain elements to prove dram shop liability. First, you need to be able to show the establishment negligently provided an underage individual alcohol. Second, you need to be able to show the alcohol contributed to the underage individual’s impairment. Third, you need to be able to show your injuries were proximately caused by the underage drunk driver.
Are there limits to dram shop liability?
You can only pursue up to $500,000 in your dram shop liability claim in North Carolina. Still, you may feel relieved to learn that by holding the establishment that provided the underage driver with alcohol accountable, you can obtain fair compensation for the harms you suffered.