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Were you or a loved one injured in a drunk driving accident in Wisconsin? The dram shop act may be able to help. In Wisconsin, injury victims and their loved ones are allowed to file suit against the bars, restaurants and nightclubs that serve alcohol to drunk drivers. This is known as a dram shop lawsuit.
Wisconsin's Dram Shop Law
Dram shop claims must be founded on a violation of Wisconsin's dram shop act. Although limited, the dram shop act outlines two situations in which dram shop liability may apply to a licensed establishment:
- forcing or coercing someone into drinking alcohol
- providing alcohol to a minor (someone under the age of 21)
Either of these two violations could serve as the basis of a dram shop lawsuit. In the even that a minor is served alcohol, then goes on to cause a DUI accident due to their intoxication, the licensed establishment can be held accountable for any injuries that occur as a result.
Limited Social Host Liability
In limited cases, Wisconsin's dram shop liability may even extend to social hosts, people who serve alcohol at private parties. Again, this form of liability is limited to situations in which minors are allowed to drink, then cause accidents due to their intoxication. Social hosts in Wisconsin cannot be held accountable for the actions of drunken adults, no matter how much the adults were allowed to drink.
3-Year Statute Of Limitations
Like any other form of lawsuit, dram shop claims must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. This law acts like a legal time limit; if you try to file your case after the statute has run out, your case will be dismissed without a second thought. The statute of limitations for dram shop lawsuits in Wisconsin is currently 3 years, beginning on the date of injury.