The Applicability of New Mexico’s Dram Shop Law

New Mexico sees over 100 drunk driving deaths per year. When a motorist is injured in a New Mexico drunk driving accident, they can pursue a claim against the drunk driver through a New Mexico car accident lawsuit. However, under the state’s Dram Shop law, there may be other potentially liable parties that can also be named in the case.

The New Mexico Dram Shop law allows for an accident victim to hold an establishment responsible if the establishment overserved alcohol to the customer past the point of intoxication and the customer then went on to cause the accident victim’s injuries. The classic example is a bar that overserves a patron who is involved in a drunk driving accident after leaving the bar.

New Mexico Statutes section 41-11-1 contains the state’s dram shop law and provides that a person or establishment can be held liable if:

  • The establishment sold or served alcohol to a person who was intoxicated;
  • It was reasonably apparent that the person was intoxicated; and
  • They knew or should have known from the surrounding circumstances that the person was intoxicated.

The statute also provides that the person who was served alcohol cannot recover from the person or establishment that served them unless they can show that the person or establishment acted with gross negligence or reckless disregard.

Section 41-11-1 also allows for social-host liability, which covers situations where a person serves a social guest “gratuitous” amounts of alcohol who then goes on to cause injury to another. However, to establish social-host liability in New Mexico, an accident victim must be able to prove that the alcohol was “provided recklessly in disregard of the rights of others, including the social guest.”

Section 41-11-1 limits damages for personal injuries in both dram shop and social-host liability cases to $50,000 per person or up to a total of $100,000 for two or more people. In addition, there is a $20,000 limit for personal property damage. It is important to keep in mind that when dram shop or social host liability is appropriate, this liability is in addition to any liability on the part of the intoxicated driver.

Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Drunk Driving Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a New Mexico drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to recover monetary compensation from one or more potentially liable parties. The dedicated New Mexico personal injury lawyers at the Fine Law Firm have extensive experience handling New Mexico DUI accident cases and conduct an exhaustive investigation to uncover all potentially liable parties to best increase their clients’ chances of a full and fair recovery. We offer free consultations to all accident victims in which we will answer any questions and explain how we can help you pursue your claims. Call 505-889 FINE to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Government Immunity in New Mexico Car Accident Cases, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 17, 2018.

Court Dismisses Slip-and-Fall Case, Applying Recreational-Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 1, 2018.