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Missouri Dram Shop Law : A Comprehensive Litigation Guide
Preston Rideout -- Dram Shop Expert Preston Rideout -- Dram Shop Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Memphis, TN
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Expert witness testifying in liquor liability case involving dram shop laws

Missouri’s Dram Shop law, codified in Missouri Revised Statute Section 537.053, stands out for its specificity and restrictive nature. Unlike some states, Missouri places a heavy burden on proving a direct link between establishment actions and the subsequent harm.

Understanding the Keys To Successful Dram Shop Claim in Missouri

To successfully pursue a Dram Shop claim in Missouri, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following critical elements:

  • The establishment served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or someone under the legal drinking age (21 years old). This element requires clear and compelling evidence the establishment was or should have been aware of the intoxication or age.
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries or damages as a result of the intoxicated individual’s actions. This element quantifies the harm caused by the accident, including physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial losses.
  • The intoxicated individual caused a drunk driving accident or other injury-causing event. This element involves establishing the direct relationship between the intoxicated individual’s consumption of alcohol and the subsequent accident or injury.

Establishing Clear and Compelling Evidence

Proving these elements requires meticulous gathering and presentation of evidence. Our team of skilled nightclub and bar dram shop experts employ a comprehensive approach to build a strong case:

  • Witness Testimony:Obtaining testimonies from witnesses who observed the intoxicated patron at the establishment is crucial. These witnesses can provide firsthand accounts of the patron’s behavior, including signs of intoxication and any interaction with establishment staff.
  • Video Surveillance: Security footage can offer valuable insight into behavior, interactions with staff, and the amount of alcohol they consume.
  • Police Reports: Provide the intoxicated driver’s (BAC) and any statements they made at the scene.
  • Medical Records: Medical records document the nature and extent of their injuries, establishing the severity of the harm caused by the accident.
  • Financial Records: Financial records can demonstrate the economic losses incurred by the injured individual due to the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

Navigating the Complexity of Dram Shop ‘Visible Intoxication

One of the most challenging aspects of proving a Dram Shop claim in Missouri lies in establishing ‘visible intoxication.‘ While the law does not specifically define what constitutes ‘visible intoxication,’ Missouri courts have recognized various indicators, including:

  • Slurred speech:Difficulty enunciating words or speaking coherently.
  • Unsteady gait:Walking with a stumbling or unsteady gait, difficulty maintaining balance.
  • Bloodshot eyes:Bloodshot or glazed-over eyes indicating alcohol consumption.
  • Flushed face:A flushed complexion, often associated with alcohol consumption.
  • Inappropriate behavior Loud, aggressive, or disruptive behavior out of character for the individual.
  • Odor of alcohol: A strong odor of alcohol on the individual’s breath or person.

It’s crucial to note that the presence of these indicators does not automatically establish visible intoxication. Each case is unique, and our legal team carefully analyzes the specific circumstances to determine if the evidence sufficiently supports a finding of visible intoxication.

Dram Shop Defenses: Understanding the Counterarguments

Establishments facing Dram Shop claims often raise defenses to challenge the plaintiff’s case. Common defenses include:

  • Lack of knowledge of the patron’s intoxication: The establishment may argue that its staff was unaware of the patron’s intoxication, citing factors such as the patron’s ability to walk and talk seemingly normally or the fact that they did not witness any signs of intoxication.
  • Insufficient evidence of visible intoxication: The establishment may challenge the plaintiff’s evidence, arguing that the presented indicators of intoxication are insufficient to establish ‘visible intoxication’ under the law.
  • Lack of causal connection: The establishment might contend that the intoxicated individual’s actions were not directly caused by the alcohol served at their establishment, but by other factors, such as drug use or pre-existing conditions.
  • Contributory negligence: The establishment may argue that the injured individual contributed to the accident through their negligence, such as driving while impaired themselves.
  • Statute of limitations:The establishment may claim that the lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations for Dram Shop claims in Missouri has expired.

Your Path to Success Begins By Retaining The Dram Shop Experts.

Navigating the intricate world of Dram Shop laws in Missouri can be a daunting task. However, with the right legal guidance and support, victims of drunk driving accidents can seek justice and compensation. Our team of dedicated attorneys is committed to providing compassionate and effective representation, guiding you through every step of the legal process and fighting tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact The Dram Shop Experts or call Preston Rideout (662) 466-6045 today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you navigate the complexities of your Dram Shop litigation Disclaimer:This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The Dram Shop Experts Preston Rideout, Silver Gordon and Kim Schioldan are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice.Preston Rideout, Silver Gordon and Kim Schioldan are hospitality consultants socializing in dram shop expert witness testimony. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your specific legal situation.

Preston Rideout is a highly sought-after Dram Shop Expert with 25 years of experience and 75 alcohol safety certifications.  He is the CEO of Rideout Hospitality and Founder of The Dram Shop Experts. Preston is widely considered the legal industry's leading nightclub management and bar operations expert. Attorneys across the nation rely upon his comprehensive knowledge of nightlife to provide powerful insight into all aspects of responsible alcohol service, bartender training, bottle service, intoxication identificationindustry-standard operations, and nightclub negligence.

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Name: Preston Rideout
Group: Dram Shop Experts
Dateline: Greenwood, MS United States
Direct Phone: 662-466-6045
Main Phone: 662-466-6045
Cell Phone: 662-466-6045
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