alcohol bottles


New Jersey dram shop law covers vendors who provide alcohol and those at social gatherings, as well as any liabilities which are in association to this providing.  But, what counts as “providing” alcohol in social host liability law?

Dram Shop Laws and Host Liability

Dram Shop Law and Social Host Liability are covered under New Jersey Statute 2A: 22A-4, which states that any individual who was injured by an intoxicated person or persons may seek damages from the vendor who served the alcohol, provided:

  • The vendor should have reasonably known that the person served was a minor under the age of 21.
  • The individual served was visibly intoxicated when they were served by the vendor.

Far from just licensed premises, dram shop law covers anyone injured as a result of an intoxicated person at a party or other social gathering. When it comes to social gatherings, the laws regarding who provided the alcohol are much broader in scope.

For example, it states that allowing guests to serve themselves alcohol at a party would make the party’s host the provider of the alcoholic beverage, even if they did not purchase the alcohol themselves.

Limitations of Dram Shop Law

While the individual who suffered injuries at the hands of the intoxicated person may seek damages from the vendor, the intoxicated individual may not. Even if the intoxicated individual themselves sustained injuries as a result of their actions, New Jersey Statutes forbid any claims against the vendor by the intoxicated party.

Damages Recoverable from Social Hosts

If an individual sustained injuries at the hands of an intoxicated person, they have entitlement to seek damages from the vendor or social host if:

  • The host or vendor provided the alcohol to the individual under the state’s definition of “provided.”
  • The individual was an intoxicated person in front of the host.
  • The alcohol was provided with reckless disregard for the consequences.
  • The providing of alcohol created a situation where “unreasonable” risk of harm to life and property was present.

The statute of limitations for any claim is two years after the date of the accident. Monetary damages recoverable from social hosts or vendors as a result of dram shop liability include:

  • Medical bills and hospital bills.
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs.
  • Property damage incurred.
  • Lost wages as a result of the injury.
  • Pain and suffering damages.

In addition, the injured person may receive compensation for child care or other household services that they may have otherwise performed were they not incapacitated; as well as any punitive damages, as outlined under New Jersey state law.

If You Suffered Injuries By an Intoxicated Person, Call DeZao Law today

If a drunk driver injures you or a loved one in an accident, you may be able to claim compensation. Not only from the driver but also from whoever provided them more alcohol than they should have. Speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney today at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm provides dram shop law services and are here to assist you with your case. Call us at (866) 817-1059 for a free consultation.