Dram Shop Acts
For liability to be imposed under the New York Dram Shop Act, the defendant must have served the DWI offender alcohol that made the offender intoxicated, and that intoxication must have been a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In the case of Catania v. 124 In-To-Go, Corp., the court held that for a defendant to be held liable in a New York dram shop case there must be a connection shown between a sale of alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person and a subsequent injury to another person.
In New York dram shop cases, a defendant may be held liable when a DWI offender has, as a result of drinking, an impairment of their mental or physical faculties so as to diminish their ability to think and act with ordinary care. Usually, it must be shown that some physical indication of intoxication (e.g. slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, staggered gait, or boisterous behavior) was exhibited for the server to be held liable for illegally providing alcohol to that person. In the case of Romano v. Stanley, the court held that evidence of a DWI offender’s blood alcohol content in addition to evidence about the offender’s observed symptoms of intoxication may be sufficient to establish that the offender was “intoxicated,” in a dram shop case.
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