Dram Shop Laws in Pennsylvania

Maybe you have visited a bar and seen that they had a sign that stated, “We reserve the right to refuse to serve those who are visibly intoxicated.” The sign exists for more than the purpose of keeping the restaurant or bar from getting overly rowdy. In fact, it holds a specific purpose in the state of Pennsylvania.

Any business that holds a license to sell liquor could be held legally responsible for serving alcohol to an intoxicated individual who gets into a car accident. Legislation has chosen to call this dram shop laws in the Keystone State.

Dram Shop Laws

Based on these laws, bars and restaurants could be held legally responsible if someone were to get drunk and drive home, causing an accident. You should also understand that the law extends beyond restaurants and bars, and it includes private events as well. As stated, many times this law will come into effect when a drunken driver causes an accident.

Situations Where Dram Shop Laws Apply

You have a few different situations where dram shop laws in Pennsylvania could come into effect. For example, let’s say that the business has served someone who looks visibly intoxicated. As a result, they get into a physical confrontation with someone else.

The injured individual could then decide to come back and sue the restaurant or bar. In addition, let’s say that the restaurant has chosen to serve someone who looks visibly intoxicated. Later, when leaving for the taxi, they trip on their feet and smack their head on the ground. It becomes a serious injury. Based on these laws, they could file a lawsuit against the business.

What Circumstances Are Needed?

For these laws to come into effect, first, one of the employees from the business will have had to have served them alcohol. This will have had to have been done to an individual who looked visibly or acted noticeably intoxicated, to begin with.

As a result of this alcohol getting served to the visibly intoxicated person, damages or injuries were caused to the intoxicated individual or someone else. The person can now come back to file a lawsuit against the business.

Private Parties Are Included

Based on dram shop laws in the state of Pennsylvania, anyone serving alcohol with a liquor license could be held financially responsible. For example, let’s say that you had a private party, and you hired out a caterer. They served one of your guests, and they later come out and caused an accident.

Based on dram shop laws, they could come back and sue the caterer with a personal injury attorney because anyone with an alcohol license that serves alcohol has to be careful about serving anyone who is noticeably intoxicated. Even without a caterer, as host of the party, you could be the one who is financially responsible.

What are the Ways to Know When an Individual is Intoxicated?

These laws have obviously had to be drawn out fully for someone to get successfully sued for it. For example, based on these laws, you can tell that someone is visibly intoxicated based on when they display a few of the following signs. Let’s have a look at some of the signs:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Incoherent speech
  • Noticeable change in behavior
  • Impaired judgment
  • Poor coordination

Cutting Someone Off

Cutting someone off after they look visibly intoxicated isn’t always the easiest task. Sometimes, they may even grow violent, which can make you feel afraid. To combat the problem, you might tell the other bartenders and other people that you have chosen to cut them off. This protects you, them and the customer.

Let’s say that you yourself were injured in a car accident because of a drunk driver. You could hire a personal injury attorney to go back and file a lawsuit against the establishment for serving too much alcohol.

If you were injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to be compensated for it. Drunk drivers can cause serious accidents that have changed the lives of many people.

Bringing those responsible to court can help to ensure that justice can be brought to help. For help doing this, don’t hesitate to call Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. to discuss what rights you have.

Contact our firm at (215) 960-0789 for a no-fee consultation.

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