Under a Pennsylvania law called the Dram Shop law, any person or business who provides alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated is held legally responsible for any injury or damage that visibly intoxicated person may later cause. The law applies to bars and other drinking establishments, and it also applies to private individuals who are hosting an event.
The dram law comes into effect in court most typically when an intoxicated person causes a vehicle collision or another kind of injury. The person or business who provided the person with alcohol is normally part of a larger lawsuit filed by the victim or victims against the at-fault driver.
To sue someone successfully using the dram law, a person must be able to prove:
- The person who was being served was “visibly intoxicated.”
- The decision to continue to serve alcohol directly contributed to the injuries of another, which were caused by the intoxicated person they over-served.