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The Ins and Outs of Dram Shop Laws in PA

If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, not just the driver may be held at fault. Pennsylvania has a law called the Dram Shop Law. This law holds businesses and staff accountable for serving liquor to people who are already clearly drunk who then drive while drunk and are involved in accidents with an innocent third party. A personal injury claim under Dram Shop Law can be filed against the bar or establishment the drunk person was served. "Dram" comes from an old English word. It refers to the fact that gin alcohol was once served by the dram, or spoonful, in England. Investigating all causes of a drunken driving crash can be a complex process. In many cases, the bar owner or business owner would not want to admit liability in a situation involving serious injury. It must be clearly established that the bar owner or business did in fact serve the person when the person was clearly drunk. Bar owners and the staff behind the bar must be trained to make discerning judgments about serving customers who are already intoxicated. There may even be criminal charges filed against those who served the individual, in addition to a personal injury claim involving the Dram Shop Law. Signs of intoxication can include:
  • Staggering or falling, difficulty maintaining balance
  • Slurred speech
  • Threatening behavior
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Difficulty sitting up straight
  • Sobbing or laughing wildly
Dram shop laws are also involved when: A drunk person harms another individual at the bar or after leaving a bar. In this case, the person who served the drunk person can be sued for personal injury damages.

Contact Us

If you were injured by a drunk driver, Metzger & Kleiner, in Phildaelphia, Pennsylvania, can help discern whether the Dram Shop Law was violated. We provide a free initial consultation that will answer your questions and help you understand your rights. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760. We represent clients involved in all types of accident injury claims on a contingency basis, including dram shop personal injury claims. We won't charge attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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