Chris Hammons | December 13, 2023 | Oklahoma Law
Liquor laws in Oklahoma provide detailed guidance for producers, distributors, and vendors (both retail and point of consumption). These alcohol laws not only regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol but also impact public safety, particularly concerning alcohol-related crashes and personal injuries.
Understanding Oklahoma’s liquor laws and their implications can help keep you and those around you safe.
Overview of Oklahoma Liquor Laws
Oklahoma liquor laws apply to liquor license holders as well as residents of the Sooner State.
Here are some of the basics:
- Age Restrictions: The legal drinking age in Oklahoma is 21.
- Sale and Distribution: Liquor stores in Oklahoma can sell spirits or wine, but not cold beer. Rules for grocery and convenience stores are the inverse, meaning they can only sell beer.
- Licensing: Establishments serving alcohol must have a valid license, which requires them to follow hours of operation and other regulations.
Additionally, vendors are prohibited from furnishing, selling, or delivering alcoholic beverages to “an intoxicated person or to any person who has been adjudged insane or mentally deficient.” Oklahoma liquor laws also prohibit vendors from allowing a person to be intoxicated or drunk on a licensed premise.
Alcohol and Crashes in the Sooner State
The State of Oklahoma collects detailed crash data as part of its efforts to identify the causes and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Overall, Oklahoma has done a great job in reducing the frequency of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
From 2010-2019, under-21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 people decreased by 48.5%. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities among the general population dropped by 33%. Both figures beat the national average by a wide margin.
However, driving under the influence can still play a major role in the severity of car accidents. Drunk drivers are often more reckless, drive faster, and take other actions that increase your odds of being seriously injured.
Personal Injuries and Alcohol
Oklahoma ranks 6th in the nation in alcohol-related mortality. Alcohol-related injuries and deaths play a role in fetal alcohol syndrome, crashes, robberies, rape, murder, and countless personal injuries.
Alcohol-related personal injuries can be grouped into two broad categories. The first involves incidents where the intoxicated person was injured. While the injured person played a role in the accident, vendors may face liability if they negligently continued to serve them alcohol.
The more common alcohol-related personal injuries involve instances where the intoxicated person injured someone else. This could include DUI-related traffic crashes, alcohol-induced acts of violence, or other incidents where alcohol was involved.
Vendors cannot negligently serve someone alcohol once they become obviously intoxicated. This rule applies to restaurants that serve beer and liquor for in-house consumption and convenience and liquor stores.
Legal Recourse for Victims
In instances where the intoxicated individual caused their own injury (i.e., slip and fall), vendors can still be liable if they knowingly violated Oklahoma liquor laws. If an intoxicated person injured you or a loved one via recklessness (i.e., drunk driving) or an intentional act (i.e., robbery), you can hold the violator and the vendor accountable through civil action.
An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the facts of your case, determine the potential value of your claim, and pursue monetary compensation.
The Bottom Line: Oklahoma Liquor Laws Impact Everyone
Oklahoma’s liquor laws play a vital role in regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol. They also have a direct impact on the rate of alcohol-related crashes and personal injuries. However, vendors and individual consumers must do their part to create a safer environment. Doing so can significantly reduce the risks associated with alcohol consumption.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird Trial Lawyers for a Free Consultation
For more information, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Oklahoma City.
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