Liquor liability laws in South Carolina are designed to protect people from being hurt in alcohol-related accidents. If a person in Greenville is injured by a drunk driver, then it isn’t just the intoxicated person who may be responsible for paying compensation. A bar, restaurant, store, or social host may be legally liable for serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor under the age of twenty-one (21).
At David R. Price, Jr., P.A., we have experienced lawyers in the area of liquor liability in South Carolina. Also known as dram shop laws, these laws help victims receive justice when they are hurt because of an intoxicated person. While car accidents are the most common type of accident that results from overserving, other personal injuries may be grounds for a claim, too.
Lawyers for Liquor Liability in South Carolina
Our lawyers represent victims. If you have been injured because of an intoxicated person, then a store, establishment or social host that served them alcohol may be responsible for paying compensation. We can investigate your case and pursue all avenues for you to receive compensation.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.
Understanding Dram Shop/Liquor Liability Laws in South Carolina
- South Carolina law imposes legal liability on a bar, restaurant, or other establishment for overserving a patron with alcohol.
- S.C. Code § 61-4-580 prohibits a licensed seller of alcohol from knowingly selling beer or wine to an intoxicated person and from selling to any person under 21 years old.
- S.C. Code § 61-6-1500 similarly prohibits the sale of liquor to intoxicated persons or any person under the age of 21 years old.
- In addition, South Carolina law also imposes legal liability on a store, bar, restaurant or other establishment for selling alcohol to a minor under 21 years old.
- S.C. Code § 61-4-50 prohibits a licensed seller of alcohol from selling beer and wine to any person under 21 years old.
- A person who is hurt because of a violation of S.C. Code §§ 61-4-580, 61-6-1500 or 61-4-50 has a legal claim for compensation against the establishment.
- South Carolina law also imposes legal liability on a social host for for knowingly serving alcohol to a minor under 21 years old.
- A person who is hurt as a result of social host knowingly serving alcohol to a minor under 21 years old may seek compensation from the person who supplied the alcohol.
The legal team at David R. Price, Jr. P.A., represents victims in South Carolina liquor liability claims. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, then you have the right to have a lawyer represent you in your legal claim. Contact us today to begin your case.
Note: Liquor liability laws come from the state level. They are different in other states. If you are outside South Carolina, the law that applies to your situation may be different.
Why does South Carolina have liquor liability laws?
Liquor liability laws exist for the safety of the public. Liquor liability laws relating to the sale of alcohol to minors also exist for the safety of the minor purchasing the alcohol as well as the safety of the public.
As the courts have explained, the laws promote public safety and minimize the chance that individuals pose a safety risk to others. Also, liquor liability laws create a system where victims are not left to suffer the financial loss alone. Rather, those responsible for causing the harm are the ones who pay for the damages that result.
Can you still sue the intoxicated person?
Yes. The intoxicated person is still liable for their own actions, even if you sue the establishment that provided the alcohol. It may be appropriate to name multiple defendants in the case. Our lawyers can help you evaluate the situation and determine the best strategy to use to pursue your compensation.
What to Prove to Win a Case for Liquor Liability in South Carolina
Victims of drunk drivers must bring their own claims for compensation, and there is usually a three-year time limit for filing a claim. It is always best to start working on your case right away, so you can capture crucial evidence before it is lost.
To win a case for liquor liability in South Carolina, you must prove the following:
- The establishment or individual inappropriately served a person alcohol, either because of intoxication or the person’s age;
- The person who was served alcohol hurt another person, either through a car accident, jostling resulting in a slip and fall, assault and battery, or in another manner;
- The injury to the victim was the result of the person’s intoxication; and
- The extent of the damages that resulted to the victim
For a bar, restaurant, or other establishment, the question is whether they served an intoxicated person or any person under 21. For a social host, the question is whether they knowingly served a person under the age of 21. Blood alcohol levels may be sufficient proof of intoxication.
However, it isn’t enough to show just that a person was overserved. You must also show that the alcohol that was provided was the proximate cause of the person’s intoxication, and that the intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury to the victim.
Proving Compensation Claims for SC Liquor Law Violations
Winning a case for liquor liability laws often comes down to detailed testimony from witnesses. Employees of the establishment that served the intoxicated person may be witnesses. Other patrons may also be witnesses, including people that were in the person’s group visiting the establishment, or other people who happened to be there. Eyewitness testimony may be key to the case, so preserving it is important. It may be critical to address the credibility of witnesses and any bias they might have.
Other documentary evidence may be available as well. It is important to quickly secure evidence such as credit card statements, point-of-sale information, or surveillance video. These types of evidence are data-intensive and may be overwritten if it is not secured promptly. Your lawyers should be prepared to act quickly, so this evidence is preserved and obtained as quickly as possible.
Many of these claims are settled through insurance policies without the need for a trial. However, a victim has a right to a civil trial for their claims. They do not have to accept a settlement offer if it is not fair. Therefore, presenting the case at trial is an important task. Witnesses must be questioned, and evidence must be presented in a way that is compelling and easily understood. Your lawyers should have experience in a civil courtroom, so they can be comfortable presenting your case to a jury.
How our lawyers can help
Our lawyers understand the challenges in pursuing liquor liability claims in South Carolina. We know that retail establishments and social hosts often want to avoid scrutiny and pay compensation. Our team uses every resource to build your case. We can represent you through all aspects of your case, pursuing your rights aggressively until you have full and complete justice.
Talk to a Lawyer Now – Free Consultations
We handle complex claims involving liquor liability laws in the state of South Carolina. At David R. Price, Jr., P.A., our entire legal team is proud to represent victims with zealous and determined legal representation. If you have been hurt by a drunk driver or other intoxicated person, no lawyers will work harder to protect your rights.
Talk to a lawyer now by reaching out to us. Get answers to your questions and see how we can assist you. Contact us now at (864) 271-2636, or through our website to set up a free consultation.