Dram Shop & Liquor Liability | Over-Served Alcohol

After a night of partying and drinking with friends, it is the responsibility of the person who will be driving to make sure they are not intoxicated before getting behind the wheel. However, according to Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law, alcohol-serving establishments such as bars, restaurants, and clubs, may also share this responsibility. Anyone licensed to serve alcohol is legally required to ensure they are not putting their customers and their community in danger by serving people after they are already obviously intoxicated.

What is Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law?

According to Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop law, any business or licensed individual who gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can legally be held responsible for any injuries and damages that person might cause. The name “Dram Shop” comes from England, where gin was once sold by the “spoonful”, also known as “dram.” PA’s Dram Shop law applies not only to businesses that serve alcohol, like bars and restaurants, but private events are included too.

Legal Alcohol Limits

Every state has the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit set to .08 percent. Alcohol slows down a person’s reflexes making it harder to react in time and avoid being involved in a collision. The limit in a bar is “obvious intoxication” or “visibly intoxicated.” Drinking establishments are not allowed to serve anyone more alcohol if that person is “obviously intoxicated,” but what does that mean? Even though everyone’s body processes alcohol differently, many signs of intoxication are clear and easy to spot including:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Difficulty finishing thoughts/sentences
  • Glassy eyes
  • Impaired fine-motor skills
  • Impaired judgment
  • Incoherent speech
  • Noticeable changes in behavior
  • Poor coordination
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Slurred speech
  • Stumbling or falling

If you have been injured because of another person’s negligence, you have rights that entitle you to financial compensation for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact our team today by filling out our form or calling 1-800-590-4116. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.

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