Dram Shop Laws are state laws that hold businesses civilly liable for damages caused by overly intoxicated patrons. Commercial Host Liability is created when a business sells alcohol to visibly intoxicated customers or to minors. Businesses can be held liable for damages resulting from accidents and crimes such as drunken driving accidents, simple assault, and sexual assault.
Dram shop laws vary from state to state, and there are a few states that have no dram shop laws at all. Several others, like California, make serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers a misdemeanor, rather than simply imposing civil liability.
Businesses can limit their exposure to commercial host liability by developing practices and procedures to prevent minors and visibly intoxicated customers from being served alcohol. In order to develop an effective plan, a business should know what their state's dram shop laws are.
In order to prevent visibly intoxicated customers from being served, a business can:
In order to prevent minors from being served a business can:
By preventing minors and visibly intoxicated customers from being served, a business can limit exposure to commercial host liability. Additionally, liability insurance could be purchased in order to further limit liability in the event that the business is sued.
A business attorney can advise your business on your state's dram shop laws and help you develop policies and procedures which limit exposure to commercial host liability. Additionally, an attorney can help you choose a liability insurance policy that will protect your business in the event that you are sued. If a lawsuit is brought against your business for commercial host liability, a lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and defenses.
Last Modified: 06-19-2018 05:16 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.