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Dram Shop Liability


Drunk drivers kill and injure people every day on Missouri roads. Those who have been injured or who have had loved ones killed at the hands of a drunk driver are victims of a terrible crime. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2010, over 10,000 people will die in drunk-driving crashes, one every 50 minutes.

At times, both an intoxicated driver and the establishment that served the driver the intoxicating liquor may be liable for causing a victim’s injury or death. When an establishment is liable in Missouri, this is referred to as Dram Shop liability. If you have been injured in an accident involving an impaired driver, contact St. Louis personal injury attorney John M. Cichelero at 314-205-2886  or by e-mail for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. He represents clients on a No Fee if No Recovery basis.


Under certain circumstances, Missouri law permits a victim who has been injured in a drunk driving accident to bring a claim against persons licensed to sell liquor by the drink, if those persons served alcohol to the drunk driver involved in the crash. The Missouri cause of action is governed by statute, and the services of an experienced Missouri drunk driving accident lawyer will be necessary to navigate the statute. Only certain types of sellers of liquor are governed by the statute. The statute contains other requirements in order to impose liability on a bar, restaurant, tavern, or other establishment who provided alcohol to a drunk driver.


Any Missouri accident lawyer will tell you that a dram shop liability claim requires an in-depth factual investigation regarding the specifics of what took place in providing alcohol to a drunk driver. In addition to obtaining the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and investigating the facts of the car, truck, or motorcycle accident itself, the Missouri attorney also may need to develop the specific facts of what took place leading up to the car crash. It would not be uncommon to interview the other patrons at a bar, the bartenders, servers, and those accompanying the drunk driver at the time he or she was consuming alcohol. In some circumstances, there may even be more than one establishment that provided the drunk driver with liquor over the course of a day or evening.


DWI accidents can lead to very serious bodily injury and death. As a St. Louis injury attorney would tell you, many times the drunk driver has only minimum Missouri insurance limits. Whatever the limits, they may not be sufficient to adequately compensate the victim. In these circumstances, a viable dram shop liability claim may be the only avenue available to the victim to receive fair, adequate and just compensation for his or her loss.


If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a loss at the hands of a drunk driver, the Law Office of John M. Cichelero may be able to help you investigate your claims. He has been practicing law in Missouri for over 25 years and has experience handling drunk driving accident cases. For a free consultation with St. Louis personal injury lawyer John M. Cichelero, call 314-205-2886 or you may contact him via e-mail. The office handles cases on a No Fee if No Recovery basis.

Mr. Cichelero represents accident victims in many counties and communities throughout Missouri, including the communities of St. Charles, St. Peters, Dardenne Prarie, O’Fallon, Troy, Wentzville, Warrenton, Silex, Hawk Point, Bowling Green, Ellsberry, Wright City, Hermann, Bourbon and Lake St. Louis. He also handles cases in some parts of Illinois, including Granite City, Collinsville, Alton, Wood River, Edwardsville, Fairmont City, Belleville, Shiloh, O’Fallon, and Fairview Heights.

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