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Dram Shop Liability Laws

Many states require bars, restaurants, and other establishments that provide alcohol to uphold a certain level of responsibility when serving patrons. Under dram shop liability laws, an alcohol-serving establishment may be partially responsible for the actions of their customers after they have been served alcohol. Therefore, establishments may share some of the blame for accidents caused by patrons who were over-served to the point of extreme intoxication or those caused by underage drinkers who were served illegally.

Serving Alcohol to Minors

If a person under the age of 21 is illegally served alcohol at a bar or restaurant and then causes an accident, the court may find that the alcohol-serving establishment is partially at fault for the accident. In some states, this law applies even if the underage patron illegally misrepresented himself or herself with a false form of identification. For this reason, some bars now have ID scanners or refuse to accept out-of-state identification.

Over-serving Bar Patrons

Under dram shop laws, bartenders and servers are required to stop serving a patron who shows visible signs of intoxication. If a person has been over-served, he or she may no longer be able to make informed decisions and may attempt to drive home. The bar or restaurant that served the alcohol may be partly to blame under dram shop liability laws if the over-served patron then causes an accident.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Appleton

If you have been charged with drunk driving, the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. can help you create a strong defense. To learn more, contact our offices today by calling 888-565-7597.