Minnesota law is clear that a bar or liquor store that sells alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person is breaking the law. A person harmed by that illegal sale has the right to bring what is called a "dram shop claim." There are many cases where injured individuals have made claims. An often overlooked claimant is the family that is harmed as an effect.
Minnesota law provides that the person making the claim isn’t blamed for the negligence (fault) of the drunk. An example is the drunk driver who is convicted of driving with over .20% blood alcohol and is sent to prison as a result of a felony conviction. The resulting loss of wages for the person’s family are recoverable in many cases. If an illegal sale can be shown, those individuals have a viable claim in Minnesota.
Some may wonder about these claims, however the intent of the law is clear. Bartenders should be trained so that bars are not serving these people. Drunks need to be cut off when there is any chance that they are going to drive. It is safer for all of us and it even protects the drunks.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.