Many states impose liability on individuals who provide or serve alcohol to an intoxicated person when that person goes on to cause an accident or injury. This liability is normally outlined in a state’s “dram shop” law.
New Mexico’s dram shop law allows an injured person to hold an alcohol vendor liable for injuries in certain circumstances. Normally, a dram shop law requires that a plaintiff prove that the vendor served or sold alcohol to a person who the vendor knew was drunk or when their intoxication was reasonably apparent. Generally, an injured party who was hurt by the intoxicated person in a New Mexico drunk driving accident can seek to impose liability on the vendor; however, the intoxicated person themselves cannot shift liability off themselves and onto a vendor unless the vendor acted grossly negligently or recklessly.
New Mexico’s dram shop statute also provides for recovery from social hosts in comparable situations. The statute applies to social hosts in instances in which the host served alcohol while recklessly disregarding the rights of others.