Beer Pong and New York Dram Shop Law

Author: Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP

Suffolk County Accident Lawyers

The New York dram shop act allows individuals injured by drunken drivers to name bars as liable parties in auto accident lawsuits. The New York statute, Title 1 – § 11-101 holds bars responsible for allowing visibly intoxicated individuals to drive when it can lead to the intoxicated person causing someone else injury or death.

Recent NY dram shop case ruling

An interesting New York case recently reported by the New York Post involved a New Jersey man who drank in a New York bar that allowed patrons to play a game called beer pong. The establishment provided game tables along with cups and alcohol for the game. The object of the game is to toss ping pong balls into a cup and losers must drink beer. After three and a half hours of playing beer pong, the 22 year old patron in this case became very inebriated and left the bar to ride a bus back to New Jersey. Upon arriving, he decided to cross a freeway and was hit by a car. His accident lawyer sued the bar on his behalf for the injuries he sustained, which according to the NY Post included a broken hip, leg and foot, tears in both his knees, and a lacerated liver. Four hours after leaving the bar, his blood alcohol content (BAC) tested at .26.

The court ruled in favor of the dram shop because the plaintiff had voluntarily participated in beer pong and while sustaining injury himself, he had not injured anyone else. The judge indicated that the dram shop law was intended for other party injuries, not intoxicated persons injuring themselves. The plaintiff’s lawyer is appealing the decision.

At Rosenberg and Gluck, our attorneys have decades of experience handling Long Island car accident and pedestrian accident cases. We thoroughly investigate and identify sources of compensation to assist clients in receiving the compensation entitled by law.