3.17-1 Dram Shop Act
The plaintiff <name> alleges that the defendant violated a statute
known as the Dram Shop Act, which reads, in relevant part that:
“If any person, by such person or such person’s agent, sells any alcoholic
liquor to an intoxicated person, and such purchaser, in consequence of such
intoxication, thereafter injures the person or property of another, such seller
shall pay just damages to the person injured . . . [provided the aggrieved
person or persons shall give written notice to such seller within 120 days of
the occurrence of such injury to person or property, of such person’s or
persons’ intention to bring an action under this section.]”1
<State the details of the plaintiff’s claim, including identifying the
alleged intoxicated customer, the defendant and any agents of the defendant. If
not contested, add a statement that the actions of the agent are the actions of
the defendant, and for the purpose of this charge, when we refer to the
defendant, we mean the defendant and (his/her/its) agent.>
To establish that the defendant violated the statute, the plaintiff must
prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
1. On <date>, the defendant <name>, through (his/her/their) agent or agents,
sold alcoholic liquor to <name of customer>;
2. <Name of customer> was intoxicated at the time of the sale; and
3. In consequence of that intoxication, <name of customer> injured the
plaintiff or the plaintiff’s property.
The defendant <name> disputes that <name of customer> was intoxicated
when it sold the liquor to (him/her). In order to impose liability under this
act, the plaintiff <name> must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that <name
of customer> was intoxicated when the defendant sold the liquor to
(him/her). The plaintiff does not need to prove, however, that the defendant
knew that <name of customer> was intoxicated when it sold liquor to (him/her).
Nor does the plaintiff have to prove that the liquor sold to <name of
customer> by the defendant produced or contributed to (his/her)
intoxication. The plaintiff merely has to prove that the defendant sold liquor
to <name of customer> when (he/she) was intoxicated.
To be intoxicated is something more than to be merely under the influence of,
or affected to some extent by, liquor. A person may be found to be intoxicated
when it is apparent that he/she is under the influence of liquor to such a
degree that (his/her) manner is unusual or abnormal and is reflected in
(his/her) walk or conversation, when (his/her) ordinary judgment or common sense
are disturbed, or (his/her) usual willpower temporarily suspended. Intoxication
means an abnormal mental or physical condition due to intoxicating liquors, a
visible excitation of the passions and impairment of the judgment, or a
derangement or impairment of physical functions and energies.2
The person need not be “dead drunk.” It is enough that the use of liquor has
so affected (him/her) in (his/her) acts or conduct that a person coming in
contact with (him/her) can readily see and know that (he/she) is intoxicated.
Finally, the plaintiff must also prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that the customer’s intoxication proximately caused the injury. I remind you
that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the liquor sold to <name of
customer> by the defendant produced or contributed to the <name of customer>’s
<Insert Proximate Cause - Definition, Instruction
3.1-3 and Proximate Cause - Substantial Factor,
1 If notice is an issue, then you must read the
notice portion of the statute.
2 The use of this language can be tailored to the
evidence in the case.
General Statutes § 30-102; Wentland v. American Equity Ins. Co., 267
Conn. 592, 603-05 (2004); Sanders v. Officers Club of Connecticut, Inc.,
196 Conn. 341, 349-50 (1985); Pierce v. Albanese, 144 Conn. 241, 253-55,
appeal dismissed, 355 U.S. 15, 78 S. Ct. 36, 2 L. Ed. 2d 21 (1957).