Nevada is one of only a handful of states in the US that does not have a statutory Alcohol Liability Law that covers all persons who might become intoxicated at an establishment licensed to serve alcohol. This is an important issue to understand in Nevada as there are daily news stories documenting a serious car accident related to alcohol consumption.
Until 2007 there was also not a third party alcohol liability law on the books in the Nevada Revised Statutes. When a new law was made, it only covered issues such as serving alcohol to minors, under 21 years of age. Nevada does not have a true Dram Shop law to protect its citizens from abuse by establishments who might serve, or continue to serve, to an intoxicated person. These “innkeeper laws” in other states are used by the courts and claimants to curb the alcohol purveyors’ interest in continuing to serve one who might already be intoxicated and, therefore, a danger to himself or others.
Nevada, and the few other states that have not enacted alcohol liability laws, have limited who may be held responsible for the actions of an intoxicated person. The lack of such laws have been justified by officials who say that Nevada is only holding the intoxicated offender personally responsible for their own actions. While this is not an entirely bad policy, it does allow for abuse by those who financially gain from excessive drinking.
Especially in Nevada, it is your own personal responsibility to never drive after consuming alcohol or anything that may cause impaired driving. It is also your responsibility to watch even more vigilantly for those who might be sharing the road with you after ‘a few too many’. The Nevada State Supreme Court as recently as 2009 has affirmed the intent of the legislature to have no dram shop laws on the books.
What can you do if alcohol was involved in your accident?
If alcohol was involved and the negligent party was intoxicated or even impaired, there are certain rights that you, as an injured victim, might be entitled to. The following steps can be crucial to getting the help and compensation you deserve:
- CALL 911- Be sure to contact the police. Metro Police may not investigate all minor accidents, however, they will certainly investigate an accident where impairment is an issue.
- INJURIES- Seek appropriate medical treatment for your injuries.
- NOTES- Make notes of everything you can think of regarding the accident… who, what where, when, why… details are very important to accident claims.
- LEGAL COUNSEL- Consult with a Nevada personal injury attorney.
It is important that an injured person in a vehicle or other accident where alcohol was involved speak to a Nevada personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can help an injured person seek the appropriate compensation for injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of another person, especially if alcohol or drugs are involved.
It is important to protect your rights as a driver in the State of Nevada. Should you be involved in an accident that involves alcohol or other intoxicants, you need the proper attorney by your side to be sure that you are protected and compensated for whatever losses you may have suffered as a result of another’s drunk driving. Call the attorneys at Bighorn Law today to discuss your case.