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Potential Dram Shop Statute in Kansas for Drunk Driving Personal Injury Car Wreck Cases

Many years ago, when I was in law school at Kansas University, I did a class project and researched issues regarding dram shop laws. I often reminisce on that subject as it was so interesting and could significantly impact numerous issues.. Dram shop laws are specific statues which create liability toward the bar or bartender who sold alcohol to a person who later injures or kills someone in a car wreck.

As a member of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, I am proud to announce that on February 10, 2020, the KTLA proposed and argued a bill to the committee for the House Judiciary. The proposed bill is a dram shop law. Such a bill would have major impacts for lawsuits in Kansas regarding people who get injured from intoxicated or drunk drivers.

The following is a copy of the bill as introduced:

2020

HOUSE BILL NO. ____

AN ACT concerning civil actions; relating to victims of certain alcohol-related incidents.

WHEREAS, The provisions of this act shall be known as the Jeff Kudlacik act.

Now, therefore:

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

Section 1. (a) (1) A person injured as a result of the acts of an intoxicated person may

bring an action in an appropriate state court against the person or licensee who sold or provided

alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage to such intoxicated person and who caused the

intoxication in whole or in part.

(2) A person or licensee who sells or provides alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage

to an intoxicated person or causes, in whole or in part, the intoxication of such person, has a duty

of reasonable care to prevent the intoxicated person, or the acts of an intoxicated person, from

causing injury.

(b) In any action brought under this section, a plaintiff may recover economic,

noneconomic and exemplary damages.

(c) A claim brought under this section shall survive death for purposes of K.S.A. 60-

1801, and amendments thereto, and may be maintained as a wrongful death action pursuant to

K.S.A. 60-1901, and amendments thereto.

(d) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Alcoholic liquor" and "cereal malt beverage" mean the same as defined in K.S.A.

41-102, and amendments thereto.

(2) "Licensee" means a licensee under the Kansas liquor control act, the club and drinking establishment act or the provisions of article 27 of chapter 41 of the Kansas Statutes

Annotated, and amendments thereto. "Licensee" does not include a person who holds a license to

sell only cereal malt beverages in original and unopened containers, not for consumption on the

premises or a person who sells at retail alcoholic liquor.

(3) "Intoxicated person" means any person:

(A) In violation of K.S.A. 3-1001, 8-1543, 8-1567, 8-2,144 or 32-1131 or K.S.A. 2019

Supp. 21-6332, and amendments thereto;

(B) physically or mentally incapacitated by the consumption of alcoholic liquor or

cereal malt beverage;

(C) under the influence of alcohol or cereal malt beverage to a degree that renders the

person a hazard; or

(D) who could reasonably have been presumed to be intoxicated as a result of the

amount of alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage served, sold, given away, disposed of,

exchanged delivered, procured or provided to such person.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the

statute book.

If a bill like this is passed, it will create another avenue to help injured people recover financially from their injuries.

As a personal injury attorney, I have helped many people recover damages from car wrecks. Moreover, when alcohol is involved, I am very knowledgeable as I have been involved as the lawyer in hundreds of DUI cases. I understand how the Kansas DUI statutes work, how to read and interpret DUI investigations, breath/blood alcohol test results, standard field sobriety tests, and etc. If you have been injured in a car wreck, due to the other driver being under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, call our law firm now to speak with an experienced PI attorney in this issue.

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