Dram Shop Laws tell bars and restaurants not to over serve booze

In many cases, a drunk driver had some help getting to his or her inebriated state. There are many places that are happy to give or sell alcohol to you, whether you are a guest at a party or a customer at a bar, nightclub or restaurant.

A responsible party host or alcohol vendor will cut someone off before they have too much to drink. They will also take steps to call a cab or arrange a ride home if they have reason to believe someone trying to leave is not sober enough to drive. Failing to do so can lead to tragedy, even if it is several miles away.

In recognition of the part a negligent bar, restaurant or social host can play in a DUI car crash, the law gives victims the right to sue those third parties for damages. As in many other states, Pennsylvania has “Dram Shop Laws” that create a duty among servers of alcohol not to over serve their guests or customers, and not to allow impaired people to drive away. Those who do not live up to those duties may be held liable for any resulting personal injuries to the drunk driver’s victims.

Though nobody forces a drunk driver to drink past the legal limit, unless they are drinking at home, they may have had a great deal of help getting to that dangerous state. Besides giving victims more options for seeking compensation, Dram Shop Laws give incentive to restaurants and bars to serve their customers responsibly, hopefully preventing accidents.