It will not matter if a bar or tavern owner does not drive; he or she could still have car accident liability for injuries to a third party in a drunk-driving accident in Iowa. This is due to Iowa Code 123.92 Civil Liability for Dispensing or Sale and Service of Beer, Wine, Or Intoxicating Liquor (Dramshop Act) –Liability Insurance –Underage Persons.
Dram shop liability laws are not exclusive to Iowa by any means, although states with dram shop laws have different takes on various aspects of the law, including how a bar owner assesses the level of inebriation of a customer. According to the website of Des Moines law firm LaMarca Law Group, P.C., the law simply states that the bar owner or similar is liable if he or she “knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated.” In other states such as Texas, the bar owner only becomes liable when the patron is literally falling-down drunk and is still being served alcohol.
This subjectivity renders the bar owner more liable, but at the same time also opens up reasonable doubt. It can go either way depending on how the case is presented. When the dram shop statute is cited, it is important that the plaintiff or the legal representative complies with the limitation of action (Iowa Code 123.93). This is to avoid missing the window of opportunity to make those who supply drunk drivers with alcohol accountable for the consequences.
If you are planning of bringing charges against the dram shop owner for injuries you or someone close to you sustained in a drunk-driving accident, employ the services of an experienced car accident liability attorney. The lawyer will know exactly what steps to take and how to properly present the facts to convince a jury of the defendant’s car accident liability.