Dram Shop Liability

Definition - What does Dram Shop Liability mean?

Dram shop liability is the onus or legal responsibility that is placed on an establishment that sells intoxicating liquor or spirits (alcohol) to ensure that the person it is sold to does not come to harm as a direct result of purchasing the alcohol. In practical terms, dram shop liability is applied to bars and off license commercial establishments to say that a person who is visibly intoxicated should not be allowed to purchase any additional alcohol. If they are sold alcohol and get in an accident or hurt another person (or themselves) due to being more intoxicated then is legally allowed, the seller will be responsible. This law was enacted to stop drunk patrons from being able to continually buy more alcohol.

Justipedia explains Dram Shop Liability

Dram shop liability was created in the 1800s in the USA as a result of the Temperance Movement. This was the first time that a person had been held accountable for their action that create a situation where the actions of another person are defective in terms of injuring themselves or another person. The first place to initiate the dram shop liability was Illinois.

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