Perhaps you’ve been to a bar or restaurant in Pennsylvania and noticed a bartender or server refuse to provide a visibly intoxicated patron another drink. Not only was the bartender looking out for that individual’s well being, he or she was complying with the state’s dram shop laws.

You may be wondereing what a dram shop law is. In summary, in Pennsylvania, restaurant owners can be held legally responsible for over serving patrons who get into car accidents or other incidents causing injuries and damages. These laws are often referred to as dram show laws.

Dram shop laws apply to more than just drunk driving accidents

Although most people think of drunk driving accidents when it comes to dram shop laws, these laws also apply to other situations where people who are over served cause injuries and damages.

For example:

  • If a visibly drunk person is over served and gets into a fight with another patron at the bar or restaurant, the injured patron can sue the bar owner for damages.
  • If a bar patron is over served and is injured in an accident that does not involve other vehicles (running into a tree or median), that individual can sue the bar or restaurant.
  • If a visibly drunk person who has been over served slips, trips or falls in the bar or restaurant or while leaving the establishment, that person can sue under the state’s dram shop laws.

These laws don’t just apply to restaurants and bars. The hosts of private parties can also be held responsible if their guests are over served and are involved in accidents or cause damages.

Talk to a lawyer after being involved in a drunk driving accident

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a drunk driver or otherwise intoxicated individual, contact our team of attorneys at Shollenberger Januzzi & Wolfe, LLP to learn how we can help.