Liquor liability under Dram Shop laws typically arise in the situations where alcohol is served to a visibly or noticeably intoxicated person, or when alcohol is served to a minor. The financial penalties that liquor liability can impose are staggering-meant to discourage this type of behavior-and can have a deeply adverse effect for insurance companies that insure bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol.

Liquor liability first arose in Oklahoma under the landmark case of Brigance.[1] the Brigance court held:

“We, thus, hold that one who sells intoxicating beverages for on the premises consumption has a duty to exercise reasonable care not to sell liquor to a noticeably intoxicated person. It is not unreasonable to expect a commercial vendor who sells alcoholic beverages for on the premises consumption to a person he knows or should know from the circumstances is already intoxicated, to foresee the unreasonable risk of harm to others who may be injured by such person’s impaired ability to operate an automobile.”

Our firm has years of experience defending liquor liability claims. Our attorneys understand the importance of thorough discovery to disclose all causes of a claimant’s injuries, including the claimant’s own fault.  Businesses can limit their exposure to commercial host liability by developing practices and procedures to prevent minors and visibly intoxicated customers from being served alcohol. Our attorneys can assist you and your business develop an effective plan to comply with Oklahoma liquor liability and dram shop laws.

[1] Brigance v. Velvet Dove, 725 P.2d. 300 (Okla. 1986)