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North Carolina’s Dram Shop Law Liability For Serving Drunk Drivers

When a person is injured or killed in an accident with a drunk driver, the drunk driver’s car insurance policy and other coverage or assets are almost always insufficient to pay the full amount of damages. A car accident lawyer can explain how in some cases in North Carolina, a personal injury victim or the estate of someone wrongfully killed may be able to seek compensation from the store, bar or restaurant that provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.

North Carolina law regarding the regulation of liquor sales allows an injured person to sue stores, bars, restaurants or a local Alcoholic Beverages Control Board based on three factors:

  • They negligently sold or furnished beer, wine, liquor or other alcoholic beverages to an underage person or a person who was noticeably or visibly intoxicated;
  • The unlawfully sold beverages caused the person to become impaired; and
  • The impaired driver’s negligent driving was a proximate cause of the injury

The statute clearly states that the underage or impaired driver or a person who aided or abetted in getting the liquor cannot seek compensation for their own injuries. Like some other states, North Carolina’s law also allows drivers or passengers who are injured by a drunk driver to seek damages from a social host who negligently served alcohol. Social host liability may be based on providing alcohol to an underage person or to a person who is visibly impaired.

People who suffer serious injuries in a car or truck accident involving alcohol or drug use should assess the full requirements for compensation and understand the importance of seeking damages from every potentially liable party. A car wreck attorney can explain the latest legal developments as well as common law rights, and discuss a potential client’s prospects for recovery in an initial consultation.

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I was involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, so I contacted the attorney that I had used in a previous case. I explained to them the situation and they advised me that there was no way that I would be able to recover anything so they would not take my case. I then contacted Charles Monnett & Associates and they accepted my case and I am happy to say that their expert staff was able to settle my case with the insurance companies for $128,000.

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In October 2010, my pregnant wife and I were in a horrendous accident in Charlotte, NC, caused by a drunk driver. We were struck head on by the driver traveling at nearly 100mph and sustained many life threatening injuries. We lost our unborn baby and were fighting to stay alive ourselves. This is not a time we could even think about an attorney, but fortunately, people we care about found Mr. Monnett! This incredible man visited us in the hospital at our request and made everything so easy for us during such a trying time. There's not another person on earth with whom I would trust such an important endeavor. His experience and knowledge overshadowed the defense by leaps and bounds. Mr. Monnett remained steadfast and confident throughout the process, while ultimately prevailing, it was amazing. I offer my highest recommendation to this great man and his top notch firm.

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours. You may also call us at (704) 376-1911.
  • Any response to the questions are general information, and I will not be charged for the response to this email question. I further understand that the law for each state may vary, and therefore, I will not rely upon this information as legal advice. Since this matter may require advice regarding my home state, I agree that local counsel may be contacted for referral of this matter. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship

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