Pennsylvania is one of the many states that have enacted dram shop liability laws. These laws establish bar liability, as well as liability for any business or individual that serves an intoxicated person. Businesses that sell alcohol are called licensees under the state laws. One of the reasons why these laws exist is to prevent injuries and deaths that result when a person driving under the influence causes an accident.
The term "dram shop" comes from the 18th century, when gin was sold in units called drams. Dram shop laws not only apply to bars but also to retail locations that sell alcohol and individuals who provide alcohol to intoxicated people. When a driver kills or injures another person or damages property while driving drunk, the licensee that sold the alcohol may be partially liable.
Dram shop laws may also apply to situations beyond drunk driving. For example, an intoxicated individual may cause a fight and injure another person or damage property in the process. The intoxicated person may also suffer injuries and choose to file suit against the establishment where he or she was served. This is called second party liability.
When a business provides too much alcohol to a customer and injury, property damage or death results, the affected may choose to use the services of an attorney. Some who are coping with the consequences of injury or damage caused by a drunk driver find it difficult to establish dram shop liability on their own. Without the necessary legal background, it may be difficult for those affected by an intoxicated person's actions to receive a satisfactory resolution. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, call the dram shop liability laws attorneys at Goodrich & Geist today at 412-766-1455 or 800-806-2456.