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Drunk driving accidents can be fatal. If you or a loved one were hurt in one, do not wait to reach out to our experienced New York City auto accident attorneys today to discuss your legal options.

Can an establishment be held responsible for a drunk driving accident in New York?

The state of New York, in addition to many others, has DRAM shop laws put in place to protect victims of drunk driving accidents. According to this law, a business with an alcohol license cannot lawfully serve an individual who is visibly intoxicated. It is important to recognize that whether or not the individual is intoxicated is left up to the discretion of the server. A server must look for signs of intoxication including slurred speech, glassy or bloodshot eyes, difficulty finishing sentences, incoherent speech, stumbling, falling, impaired fine motor skills, and more.

In the event that the licensed establishment or individual continues to serve them, they can be held liable for injuries and damages the person may cause in a drunk driving accident. This law is in place for taverns, bars, pubs, restaurants, and more. DRAM shop laws are applied under the following conditions:

  • An employee of the establishment serves alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated
  • The decision to serve the intoxicated customer directly caused injuries and damages

What are New York’s social host laws?

New York has social host laws that hold homeowners liable for the behavior of their underage guests if they leave their event intoxicated. Under social host laws, if an underage guest consumes alcohol at an adult’s party and is involved in an accident, the host can be held liable for serving the minor.

Additionally, this rule remains in effect even if the host was unaware that the minor was consuming alcohol at their event. The social host laws will still apply:

  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and is injured or killed in an accident
  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and injures or kills someone else

Do not wait to reach out to a skilled New York City auto accidents attorney today if you or a loved one has been hurt in a drunk driving accident in New York. Our dedicated legal team is prepared to fight for you and obtain the compensation you need.

Contact our Firm

If you have been injured in a New York City accident, Swerling Law is here to help. Our firm understands the challenges that many people face after being hurt in an accident and is prepared to help you receive an award of significant compensation to ease some of your burdens. To schedule a consultation with an experienced construction site accident attorney in New York City, contact Swerling Law today.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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