Dram Shop Laws In Connecticut

August 4, 2021
Dram Shop Laws In Connecticut

In most circumstances, when one person injures another, the person who caused the injury is responsible for the injured person's damages and losses. When alcohol is involved, however, the business that supplied it to the intoxicated individual may also face legal action from the injured person. This law is identified as Connecticut's "dram shop law," and it can be found in Connecticut General Statutes section 30-102. In this article, we'll go over how this works in Connecticut and how you can use it to your benefit if you're injured by someone who is intoxicated.


What is the Dram Shop Law and how does it work?

Every day in the United States, 29 people are killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even one of these avoidable deaths is far too many. The dram shop law in Connecticut applies to businesses that serve alcohol. 

To bring a dram shop claim effectively, several factors must be examined, including:


  • Someone visibly drunk was served alcohol by an employee or agent of the establishment.This is based on intoxication symptoms such as slurred speech, staggering, and bloodshot eyes.
  • In a dram shop claim, a high blood alcohol content or a guilty plea in a DUI conviction might be used to indicate evident intoxication.
  • Another aspect that must be established is that the bartender or server's decision to serve an obviously drunk person resulted in harm or death.


If a server or bartender has broken further liquor laws, such as giving alcohol to a minor, the Commonwealth and civilly may prosecute them criminally and sue them civill for financial damages.

Our legal team may use expert testimony that is verified by circumstantial evidence to substantiate a cause of action, as a judge or jury is not allowed to make a judgement merely on the basis of guesswork and supposition.


Social Host Liability

The Dram Shop law in Connecticut applies to alcohol vendors, but not to social hosts. John can sue Bo's Bar for damages in the case above because the bar sells alcohol. However, if Katherine was offered alcohol by a friend who had invited both John and Katherine to a party, John would not be able to sue the friend under the dram shop statute.


However, it is a misdemeanor in Connecticut for social hosts to "knowingly, carelessly, or with criminal negligence" supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, or to fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent minors from obtaining alcohol.


Time Limit 

All Dram shop claims must be submitted within one year of the date of the underlying injury in Connecticut. But there's an even stricter deadline: anyone planning to bring a Dram Shop claim must notify the business or seller in writing within 120 days of the injury.

Because legal and procedural concerns might be complicated, it's a good idea to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident if you're considering filing a claim.


If you would like you know more about Dram Shop law, contact the Best Legal Attorney, New Haven, CT


All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.