Understanding Florida's Dram Shop Law: A Guide for Business Owners
As a business owner in Florida, it's essential to understand the state's dram shop law and how it can impact your business. The dram shop law holds businesses liable for serving alcohol to individuals who are already intoxicated or under the legal drinking age and go on to cause injury or harm to themselves or others. This law can have severe consequences for your business, including costly lawsuits and damage to your reputation. To help you navigate this complex area of law, we've compiled this guide with everything you need to know about Florida's dram shop law.
What is Florida's Dram Shop Law?
Florida's dram shop law holds businesses liable for serving alcohol to individuals under the lawful drinking age or who are "habitually addicted" or "habitually intoxicated." This means that if you serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated or under the age of 21, and they go on to cause injury or harm to themselves or others, your business can be held liable for damages. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Can You Protect Your Business?
It's crucial to have policies and procedures in place to prevent the over-serving of alcohol and protect your business from liability under Florida's dram shop law.
Such measures can include:
- Training your staff to recognize the signs of intoxication
- Limiting the number of drinks a customer can order
- Refusing service to anyone who appears to be intoxicated
Additionally, it's essential to have liability insurance in place to protect your business in case of a lawsuit.
What to Do if You're Facing a Lawsuit
If your business is facing a lawsuit under Florida's dram shop law, it's vital to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law and can work with you to develop a defense strategy. They can also help you negotiate a settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
Understanding Florida's dram shop law is paramount for any business owner who serves alcohol. By implementing policies and procedures to prevent over-serving and having liability insurance in place, you can protect your business from costly lawsuits and damage to your reputation.
If you're facing a lawsuit under Florida's dram shop law, seek legal counsel right away. At First Coast Criminal Defense, we have extensive experience representing businesses in dram shop cases and can help you navigate this complex area of law. Contact us today to learn more: (904) 474-3115.