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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 7: Alcoholic Beverages

Chapter 017: SALE TO INTOXICATED PERSONS AND PUBLIC CHARGES

  • § 501. Unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors; civil action for damages

    (a) Action for damages. A spouse, child, guardian, employer or other person who is injured in person, property or means of support by an intoxicated person, or in consequence of the intoxication of any person, shall have a right of action in his or her own name, jointly or severally, against any person or persons who have caused in whole or in part such intoxication by selling or furnishing intoxicating liquor:

    (1) to a minor as defined in this title;

    (2) to a person apparently under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

    (3) to a person after legal serving hours; or

    (4) to a person whom it would be reasonable to expect would be under the influence of intoxicating liquor as a result of the amount of liquor served by the defendant to that person.

    (b) Survival of action; joint action. Upon the death of either party, the action and right of action shall survive to or against the party's executor or administrator. The party injured or his or her legal representatives may bring either a joint action against the person intoxicated and the person or persons who furnished the liquor and an owner who may be liable under subsection (c) of this section, or a separate action against either or any of them.

    (c) Landlord liability. If the intoxicating liquor was sold or furnished to the intoxicated person in a rented building, the owner may be joined as a defendant in the action, and judgment therein may be rendered against the owner, if the owner of the building or in the case of a corporation, its agent, knew or had reason to know that intoxicating liquor was sold or furnished by the tenant:

    (1) to minors as defined in this title;

    (2) to persons apparently under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

    (3) to persons after legal serving hours; or

    (4) to persons whom it would be reasonable to expect would be under the influence of intoxicating liquor as a result of the amount of liquor served to them by the tenant. It shall be an affirmative defense to an action against an owner that the owner took reasonable steps to prevent the sale of intoxicating liquor under the circumstances described in this subsection or to evict the tenant.

    (d) Statute of limitations. An action to recover for damages under this section shall be commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not after.

    (e) Evidence. In an action brought under this section, evidence of responsible actions taken or not taken is admissible, if otherwise relevant. Responsible actions may include, but are not limited to, instruction of servers as to laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages, training of servers regarding intervention techniques, admonishment to patrons or guests concerning laws regarding the consumption of intoxicating liquor, and inquiry under the methods provided by law as to the age or degree of intoxication of the persons involved.

    (f) Right of contribution. A defendant in an action brought under this section has a right of contribution from any other responsible person or persons, which may be enforced in a separate action brought for that purpose.

    (g) Social host.

    (1) Except as set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection, nothing in this section shall create a statutory cause of action against a social host for furnishing intoxicating liquor to any person without compensation or profit, if the social host is not a licensee or required to be a licensee under this title. However, this subdivision shall not be construed to limit or otherwise affect the liability of a social host for negligence at common law.

    (2) A social host who knowingly furnishes intoxicating liquor to a minor may be held liable under this section if the social host knew, or a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have known, that the person who received the intoxicating liquor was a minor.

    (h) Definitions. For the purpose of this section:

    (1) "Apparently under the influence of intoxicating liquor" means a state of intoxication accompanied by a perceptible act or series of actions which present signs of intoxication.

    (2) "Social host" means a person who is not the holder of a liquor license and is not required under this title to hold a liquor license. (Amended 1987, No. 103, § 1; 1999, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 502. Minors; payment of damages recovered

    All damages recovered by a minor in such action shall be paid over to such minor or to his guardian on such terms as the court may order.

  • § 503. Satisfaction of judgment; revocation of license

    If a judgment recovered against a licensee under the provisions of section 501 of this title remains unsatisfied for 30 days after the entry thereof, the board of control commissioners or the liquor control board shall revoke his license. A license shall not be granted to a person against whom such judgment has been recovered, until the same is satisfied.

  • § 504. Action founded on tort; certified execution

    A judgment for the plaintiff under section 501 of this title shall be treated as rendered in an action founded on tort. At the time of such judgment, the court shall adjudge that the cause of action arose from the wilful and malicious act of the defendant, and that he or she ought to be confined in close jail, and a certificate thereof shall be stated in or upon the execution.

  • § 505. Notice to prohibit sales to certain persons

    The father, mother, husband, wife, child, brother, sister, guardian, or employer of a person may, in writing, notify any board of control commissioners as defined in section 2 of this title, who may, on investigation, forbid the sale or furnishing of spirits, fortified wines, or malt or vinous beverages, or all four, by licensees as defined in section 2 of this title, within the jurisdiction of that board of control commissioners to that person. (Amended 1967, No. 147, § 47, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 102; 2015, No. 51, § A.14.)

  • § 506. Record of notices

    (a) Such board of control commissioners shall place on file the notices received under section 505 of this title and they shall be open to public inspection at reasonable times, except that the notices of a husband, father, wife, child, mother or a sister provided for in section 505 of this title shall not be open to inspection nor be disclosed by such board of control commissioners. Upon receipt of a notice, such board of control commissioners may, upon investigation, give written notice forbidding the sale or furnishing of spirits, fortified wines, or malt and vinous beverages, or all four to such person and to all licensees within the jurisdiction of such board of control commissioners.

    (b) Copies of all notices sent by a board of control commissioners shall be furnished forthwith to the Commissioner of Liquor Control who may upon receipt of such copy forbid the sale of spirits and fortified wines by any State agency or agencies to such person. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. March 1, 1961; 2015, No. 51, § A.14, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.)

  • § 507. Expiration of notices

    All notices given under section 506 of this title shall expire six months from their date unless sooner revoked.