Dram Shop Laws: What You Need to Know

Owning a liquor store? Watch out, there are laws related to alcohol seller or retailer that are related to the impact of alcohol consumption. One of them is Dram Shop Law.  What is it and what should you do as a seller or retailer to comply and avoid the consequences?


What is Dram Shop Law?

Dram shop liability is a lawful term that refers to the subjective responsibility of an alcohol provider in the event of a driving accident caused by a drunk driver. ‘Dram’ is referred to a out-dated unit of liquid and a ‘dram shop’ is the bars or restaurant where alcohols are sold.

Dram Shop Laws are enforced through civil lawsuits and it allows Driving-Under-Influence (DUI) victims or their families to sue the alcohol seller or retailer for financial damages.

Why did it become a law?

Gone are the days when it was only the drunk driver driving the car that could be held liable for damages after a drunk driving accident. At that time, the drunk driver could face criminal charges in addition to subsequent charges for both emotional and physical damages. However, the rate of drunk driving accidents did not decrease. There have been numerous drunk driving deaths, which are tragic results of drinking too much alcohol.

Nowadays, there are some current laws that do not target only the drunk driver but also the alcohol provider. This law was enforced to help reduce the rates of drunk drivers and drunk driving accidents. People charged with drunk driving mortalities face several severe penalties such as probation, financial responsibilities to the family of the victims or long term jail term. This can change the offender’s life for a lifetime. If he serves a jail time, if might be difficult to get a job again.

Therefore, if you are an alcohol retailer and you have been accused of selling alcohol for a drunk driver involved in an accident then you need a Dram Shop expert. You need professional attorneys who have noteworthy experience in defending dram shop and liquor liability claims against alcohol providers and their employees. Such experts must have successful records of defending alcohol providers that the liability for serious drunk driving injury has been extended to. It might be the employer of the company such as bartender, waiter or waitress or the owner of the restaurant or bar.

Drunk-driving-caused car crash

Know the consequences

Every state in the United States has specific regulations and restrictions to dram shop liability and it is gradually becoming popular throughout the country. This law increases a level of protection for the victims of alcohol-related crimes. If the individual who is involved in a drunk driving accident does not have the money to fully compensate the victim for any injury, the alcohol provider will be held responsible for their role in the incident. Therefore, a drunk accident victim may have a good chance of getting the compensation they need.

In some states, under the law, the victim must show that the driver was discernibly intoxicated when served alcohol through a witness testimony. This means that the victim needs to find and trace other people that were present at the time to acquire testimony from them on how the drunk driver looked and acted at the time.

Your next step

Only Dram shop experts understand the consequence of developing comprehensive information that is crucial to liability evaluation such as drinking history and how much alcohol was consumed. It is very important to choose a lawyer immediately after the accident so that a detective is hired to locate all possible witnesses.