Liability Under Oregon’s Dram Shop Laws

In late August, police arrested Eduardo Angulo, head of the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality, an educational advisory group, and charged him with driving under the influence after he crashed into another car. Angulo, who later resigned his position, was slightly hurt. However, the driver he rear-ended suffered spinal injuries that left him paralyzed. It was Argulo's fourth DUI arrest.

It is still unknown where Angulo had been drinking before he hit the victim, but if he had gotten legally intoxicated in a bar, the victim may have an action against the bar under Oregon's dram shop law.

Oregon's dram shop law

In Oregon, any business that serves alcohol may not serve it to a patron who already appears to be intoxicated. If the business violates this law by serving alcohol to an intoxicated customer, it may be liable for injuries caused by the customer that resulted from their intoxication. While third parties injured by the customer may sue the business, the customers themselves have no legal claim against a business for serving them while drunk. This law is not restricted to businesses — it also applies to those who serve alcohol to guests at their home who are already intoxicated.

The Salem lawyers at Harris, Wyatt & Amala are experienced in successfully handling claims against businesses that have violated Oregon dram shop laws. In light of the short time limits for these suits (you have only 180 days to give the business or social host notice of intent to sue), if you have been injured by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at Harris, Wyatt & Amala immediately.

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