Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Laws
Drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania cause catastrophic injuries and deaths each year. A number of these tragedies can be avoided if business owners act wisely and responsibly. Dram Shop Acts in different states require business owners to watch for visible signs of intoxication in their patrons and decide when to stop selling alcohol. This is an interesting law that sends a message to business owners that they need to put public safety ahead of the need to maximize profits for their business.
Pennsylvania Dram Shop Statutes
The Pennsylvania Liquor Code, Section 4.493(1) provides the basis for imposing civil liability for negligent service of alcohol by retail establishments. The statute states that it is unlawful for any business to “to sell, furnish or give any liquor or malted or brewed beverages, or to permit any liquor or malted or brewed beverages to be sold, furnished or given to any person visibly intoxicated, or to any insane person, or to any minor, or to habitual drunkards, or persons of unknown untempered habits.”
The Aspect of “Visible Intoxication”
“Visible intoxication” forms two of the most important words in Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Act. However, “visible intoxication” is not defined in this statute. There are several conditions a plaintiff must meet to show that the defendant was served alcohol even after being visibly intoxicated. The focus is on the appearance of the individual, but in many dram shop cases, the only solid evidence of intoxication is the result of a blood alcohol test taken after an auto accident.
As personal injury lawyers, we retain the services of toxicology experts to obtain opinions using blood alcohol results to show what a patron’s blood alcohol level would have been at the time the person was last served alcohol. However, blood alcohol evidence alone will not suffice. Eyewitness accounts at the bar or establishment are also invaluable to prove such cases because the Dram Shop Act in Pennsylvania stresses “visible intoxication” or what can be seen.
Pennsylvania Liquor Liability Lawyers
When innocent commuters are seriously injured or killed by drunk drivers, the liability rests not only on the person who chose to drink and drive, but also on the business or establishment that chose to serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person. The experienced Pennsylvania liquor liability lawyers of Cherry Injury Law represent the victims of drunk driving accidents. If you or a loved has been the victim of a DUI accident, which is the result of Dram Shop Act violations, our attorneys can help you seek just compensation. Call us today for a free consultation and comprehensive evaluation of your claim.
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If you have been seriously injured in the state of Pennsylvania by the negligence of another and if you have questions or concerns about your legal rights, please don’t hesitate to call. Our Pennsylvania injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day to speak with you, and we welcome all calls at no charge. Contact us today at 610-816-0366.