Dram Shop

Picture of intoxicated man at bar

To knowingly serve an intoxicated person alcohol is a violation of dram shop rules in the state of Washington.

Have you been injured by a person who had been overserved in a bar? Are you a family member of someone who was fatally injured by another person who had too much to drink at a liquor establishment?

A dram shop is a commercial establishment, such as a tavern, bar, or liquor store, where alcoholic beverages are sold. Dram shop liability refers to laws imposing potential liability on commercial establishments that sell alcohol in certain states, such as that state of Washington. In general, dram shop liability results when the establishments sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated people and minors who then cause injury or death to third parties by car crashes or other accidents. In other words, DUI victims or their families can sue the alcohol establishments for monetary damages.

How does a bartender or liquor store owner know if a customer is too drunk to be consuming alcohol? The “obvious intoxication test” is if the establishment knew or should have known that a customer was so intoxicated that more alcohol would cause danger to himself or to others, then the establishment could be liable for damages caused.

Per Washington State Law, “no person shall sell any liquor to any person apparently under the influence of liquor,” and “no person who is apparently under the influence of liquor may purchase or consume liquor on any premises licensed by the board.” The entire purpose to the law is to prevent overserving of alcohol to customers who could then cause damage, a car accident, injuries, or death.

Picture of bartender pouring drinkLiquor establishments that serve alcohol can be held legally and financially responsible for damage, injuries, and fatalities resulting from potentially overserved customers consuming alcohol on their premises who then caused an accident, drunk driving or otherwise.

At Herschensohn Law PLLC, we will evaluate and investigate your case to determine liability and course of action. If the establishment is deemed liable, we will fight for legal justice and monetary compensation for the damages and injuries sustained by the resulting accident. In dram shop cases, you might be owed monetary compensation due to medical expenses or even funeral expenses. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.