Were you or a loved injured in an alcohol-related accident in Hawaii? You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the bar, restaurant or nightclub where the alcohol was served.

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Injured in a DUI accident in Hawaii? It's natural to begin thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. After all, they were drunk behind the wheel; that's a serious violation of the law. But most drunk driving accidents begin in the bar, restaurant or nightclub where the person who decided to drive drunk got drunk in the first place.

How Dram Shop Laws Work In Hawaii

In Hawaii, it's illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated. It's also illegal to serve a minor, someone under the age of 21, but these two laws are broken all the time. Hawaii's powerful dram shop law allows you to fight back against this form of negligence.

Beach In Hawaii

Violations Of Hawaii's Liquor Code

In reality, Hawaii doesn't have its own dram shop law on the books, but the State's courts have routinely recognized the rights of victims on this point. According to Hawaii's courts, victims of alcohol-related accidents can file a lawsuit against the licensed establishment where the accident's perpetrator received alcohol. Dram shop claims must be based on a violation of Hawaii's strong liquor code. Alongside serving a minor or a visibly-intoxicated person, common violations of Hawaii's liquor code include:

  • serving alcohol to a "habitual drunkard" (a known alcoholic)
  • serving alcohol to someone you know will be driving

Hawaii's courts have recognized dram shop claims as a legitimate cause of action based on the above violations. Social host liability is a bit harder. In many states, social hosts, just like licensed establishments, can be held accountable for over-serving private party guests.

Social Host Liability

Hawaii only allows this if the person being served alcohol, who goes on to cause the accident, is a minor, under the age of 21. Social hosts cannot be held liable for the actions of adults, no matter how much those adults were allowed to drink.

Hawaii's Dram Shop Statute Of Limitations

Like every lawsuit, dram shop claims in Hawaii are governed by a strict statute of limitations. This law acts like a legal time limit, restricting the amount of time injury victims and their loved ones have to file suit. Choose to file after the statute has "run out" and your case will be dismissed. Hawaii's statute of limitations for dram shop lawsuits is now 2 years, beginning on the date of injury.

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