What Are Dram Shop Laws?

These laws hold accountable businesses and individuals who provided alcohol to people who then went on to hurt others as a result of their intoxication. At The Cochran Firm, our lawyers will have a keen, complete understanding of the dram shop laws in your state and how they apply to your case.

The Cochran Firm has long advocated for strong accountability measures for those who risk innocent people’s lives by driving drunk. Our auto accident lawyers have seen far too many lives ruined by these reckless actions, and we’re committed to helping those who have been hurt by drunk drivers.

However, the law has begun to realize that many intoxicated drivers were enabled by negligent business owners. As such, many states now have Dram Shop Laws on the books.

Obviously there are a lot of complexities to these cases. You need the experienced auto accident lawyers at The Cochran Firm when you’re considering a case against an intoxicated driver and those who might have contributed to his or her intoxication.

If you want to speak to one of our auto accident lawyers about your possible dram shop law claim, please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free consultation or call 1-800-843-3476.

How Do Dram Shop Laws Work?

Generally speaking, dram shop laws allow victims to pursue personal injury claims against establishments that contributed to the intoxication of the person who hurt them.

Now, that’s obviously a very broad definition. It’s important to understand that there’s no national dram shop law; every state has its own law with its own unique provisions.

It’s not enough to prove that a bar, restaurant or liquor store sold alcohol to someone who went on to commit a negligent act, nor is it enough to prove that the person’s intoxication status contributed to the accident. In most states, your auto accident lawyer will have to demonstrate that the establishment or individual in question sold alcohol to the person in violation of state law.

This often means they sold alcohol to a person who was already visibly intoxicated, though selling alcohol to minors is also a serious offense that can open up significant liability concerns. However, some states, like Texas, provide dram shop immunity to establishments that have their employees undergo state-approved seller training programs.

In certain circumstances, individuals can be held liable under dram shop laws for providing alcohol at a party or some other gathering. On the other hand, many states explicitly forbid this type of suit from moving forward.