drunk driving accidents

If you have sustained injuries due to a drunk driver, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Westchester County drunk driving attorneys to learn what you should know about dram shop laws in the state of New York.

Does New York State have dram shop laws?

Most U.S. states have enacted a dram shop law of one kind or another and the Empire State is no exception. New York’s Dram Shop Act affords individuals who sustained injuries as a result of another’s intoxication a cause of action against the party that unlawfully sold, provided or assisted in providing, the alcohol to the intoxicant. In other words, if you sustained injuries through the wrongful behavior of another person, you may have the ability to assert a personal injury claim against that person.

Who is subject to dram shop laws in New York?

In addition to dram shop claims, New York allows for social host liability claims. Typically, liability comes up in three types of situations, which are as follows:

  • The vendor provides alcohol to someone who is underaged
  • The vendor provides alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated
  • A social host provides alcohol to someone who is underaged and who subsequently causes injuries

The last one is narrower than the law that applies to alcohol vendors. Under New York’s social host liability law, social hosts would not necessarily face liability for serving visibly intoxicated guests who are of legal drinking age.

Keep in mind that New Yorkers have three years, from the date of the accident, in which to bring forward a personal injury claim, which is why you should reach out to one of our skilled Westchester County personal injury attorneys to discuss your next steps.

What damages can you seek in a Westchester County dram shop claim?

In New York, victims of drunk driving are able to sue for economic, non-economic and punitive damages. Though punitive damages are rarely awarded, they are intended to punish a negligent driver for malicious, fraudulent or grossly negligent behavior. Economic and non-economic damages are as follows:

Economic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost or diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation
  • Assistive services

Non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Disfigurement
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Damaged reputation

Do not go it alone. Please give us a call today.


Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. We understand how challenging life can be without financial compensation for serious injuries you have wrongly sustained. If you need a knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation after an accident, contact Hausman & Pendzick today.