Establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages by law are not allowed to sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or to patrons under the age of 21. If they do, and if the intoxicated person then gets into an auto accident because they were too drunk to drive, it is possible to bring a claim against the establishment. To learn more, please call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda at (803) 828-6100.
What Is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability refers to the liability of bars, restaurants and liquor stores (or other businesses selling alcohol) for injuries caused by a customer who was over-served. In dram shop cases, these liquor establishments are usually held responsible for one of the following if the result is an accident:
- Selling alcohol to an underage driver
- Selling or serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person
When a bar, restaurant or liquor store patron is stumbling or slurring their speech, they can be said to be visibly intoxicated. In these cases, the question is whether a reasonable person would have recognized that the person was too intoxicated to be sold alcohol.
The term "dram shop" comes from an outdated term for establishments that sold spirits when they were measured in "drams." Today it refers to any business that sells alcoholic beverages.
Your Dram Shop Liability Case
The challenges in these cases are obvious: The key is to prove the bar, restaurant or other business knew or should have known that the customer should not have been served. As experienced accident attorneys, we know how to gather any and all evidence to support your case, such as:
- Surveillance video at the business
- Credit card or debit card transactions showing how much alcohol the person purchased and when
- Receipts and transaction records from the business showing what was served to the customer
- Any documentation or evidence from criminal proceedings or arrest records, if the person that injured you was arrested for DUI or another crime related to intoxication or the accident
- Statements of any witnesses to what happened in the accident and when the patron was at the bar or restaurant
The attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda not only have extensive knowledge of and experience with these cases, we have a wide network of experts we can use as resources for dram shop cases. We will begin building your case immediately and investigating whether a business is ultimately responsible for over-serving the person that injured you.
To find out if you have a case against the drunk driver that injured you in an accident in or around Kingstree, Columbia or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, please call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda at (803) 828-6100.