- Term Papers and Free Essays

Dram Shop Liability Law

Essay by   •  March 4, 2011  •  802 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,408 Views

Essay Preview: Dram Shop Liability Law

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Go out to your local bar and drink as much as you want, when you are finished get in your car and head home. If you happen to wreck your car and harm yourself or someone else do not worry it is not your fault; it is actually the fault of the bar since they served you the drinks you ordered. Therefore you are not to blame because the bar did not baby-sit you like they should have. The above statement sounds ridiculous right? Well it actually happens to be a law in 43 different states, and that law is called The Dram Shop Liability law.

The Dram shop law makes it possible for a bar owner and servers to be held financially liable if a customer becomes intoxicated at their establishment and then injures someone or causes property damage, typically by driving drunk. I myself work at a nightclub as a bouncer and part of my job is make sure no one becomes overly intoxicated and if they do then my job is to make sure they do not get behind the wheel of a car. One of the problems I see with this law is that it becomes extremely hard to pin point an intoxicated person if they are not showing signs of being intoxicated.

Doug Wolfson an owner of a bar in Omaha, Nebraska had the same complaint about the law when he stated in an interview that "It's very difficult as a bar owner to determine when somebody has maybe a whole bunch of drinks from earlier in the day and they come in here and have one beer, go out and get into an accident. Should that be my responsibility? I don't think so." I believe Mr. Wolfson is right when saying that it should not be his responsibility. How can it be decided that the responsibility of a reckless driver even if intoxicated be taken away from that driver and put solely on the establishment, I personally do not think this is right. However some people believe otherwise.

A lot of people who do believe that The Dram Shop Laws are a good Idea believe this simply because "Strict dram shop liability laws may be an effective way to reduce alcohol-related injury crashes, and it may encourage alcohol establishments to implement responsible beverage service programs to train servers to prevent patrons from becoming intoxicated (Wagenaar & Holder, 1991)." I believe it is true that some establishments do not do all they can do and something must be done, but what about the establishments that do everything they can to prevent intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel?

The problem that arises is how to tell how visibly drunk a person was before that person got into the car. Would an establishment be able to tell if the person was obviously drunk? From the establishment's standpoint the answer is typically no. Unless the person is falling over tables or passed



Download as:   txt (4.4 Kb)   pdf (72.1 Kb)   docx (9.9 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 03). Dram Shop Liability Law. Retrieved 03, 2011, from

"Dram Shop Liability Law" 03 2011. 2011. 03 2011 <>.

"Dram Shop Liability Law.", 03 2011. Web. 03 2011. <>.

"Dram Shop Liability Law." 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011.