Drunk Drivers can Still Sue Liquor Licensees that Overserve them

The N.J. Law Journal reports:

Thanks to some blurriness in statutory drafting, alcoholic beverage servers in New Jersey can be held liable to patrons who drink, drive and crash.

A divided state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a 1997 automobile insurance statute that nonsuits drunken drivers applies only to litigation with other parties to an accident and does not preempt New Jersey’s dram shop statute, which is a decade older.

“There is a strong presumption against repealing statutory provisions by implication,” the 5-2 per curiam majority wrote in Voss v. Tranquilino, A-110-09. “The required clarity of evidence to support such legislative intent is absent here.”

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Voss v. Tranquilino-NJ Supreme Court Decision

Voss_v._Tranquilino-appellate division decision


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