Dram Shop


The name "dram shop" comes from England, where gin was once sold by the spoonful, or "dram."

Under the Pennsylvania Dram Shop Statute, a licensed drinking establishment (i.e. bar, hotel, and restaurant) cannot serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or to a minor. The statute has also been applied to private events where alcohol is served. Additionally, if the individual was served after hours, or the establishment had no license to serve alcohol, the dram shop statute may apply and the business owner or individual server may have criminal charges brought against him/her as well as civil liabilities for financial damages resulting to the injured person.

If injuries arise as a result of the intoxicated person’s actions, (i.e. intoxicated person causes a serious car accident or a bar fight) the establishment can be held liable for the resulting injuries. This means the establishment may have to foot the bill for the victim’s “pain and suffering” and related medical expenses. The current laws of Pennsylvania also allow for the intoxicated person to recover against Dram Shops for the injuries suffered by him/her.

It is important to act on a dram shop case immediately. Today, many establishments have video surveillance which is often the best evidence in proving "visible intoxication." Often, the videos are not preserved because they are reused for future recordings. With the assistance of an attorney, you can preserve these items immediately before they are destroyed. Blood alcohol results in excess of the legal limit are not always enough to prove "visible intoxication."

About 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident at some time in their lives. Ninety percent (90%) of all drunk driving accidents happen after hanging out, partying or dining with friends, family and co-workers. In Delaware and Philadelphia Counties alone, 2 people in every 5,000 die each year as a result of a driver under the influence.

Our office has handled hundreds of drunken driving cases. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, or you were served illegally, contact us today for your free consultation.

The information contained herein is dedicated to providing public information regarding Family Law issues in Pennsylvania. None of the information on this site is intended to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of attorney client relationship. Please contact our law firm for information regarding your particular case. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.