What defenses are available for a defendant in a dram shop action or liquor liability case?

Defenses in liquor liability cases. Where there’s the usual defenses that you see in any kind of case, “It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. I have no idea what happened. Somebody made the whole thing up.” You are almost always going to get that. Once you get past that, what defenses do we see in liquor liability cases, the defenses we almost always see in liquor liability cases, there’s a drunk-driving accident or there is a fight, somebody gets beat up, somebody gets hurt. The defense we almost always hear is, “What are you picking on me for? All I do is run a bar. I didn’t get behind the wheel and hit somebody. I didn’t beat anybody up. What’s everybody picking on me for?” That is not a valid defense. The reason it is not a valid defense is because bars are not allowed to sell people they know are minors or people they know are alcoholics. The reason they are not allowed to sell to those people is to protect the public. It is too much risk if you sell to somebody you know is a minor or somebody you know is an alcoholic. If you sell to one of those people and then they go out and do harm, it is not a defense that you didn’t get behind the wheel because it is the bar that set the whole thing in motion by selling to that person they knew was a minor or that person they knew was an alcoholic, so don’t fall for that one.

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