People generally know that drunk drivers can be held responsible for any accidents they cause due to being intoxicated. What many people do not know is that the individual or establishment serving the driver can be held responsible as well. This is done through DRAM Shop and Social host laws.
DRAM Shop Laws
The state of Pennsylvania has DRAM shop laws to protect victims of drunk driving accidents. These laws hold an establishment responsible for serving alcohol to a person that is visibly intoxicated instead of cutting them off. Servers have an obligation to stop serving a driver if they are clearly intoxicated. Signs of intoxication can include slurred speech, glassy or bloodshot eyes, difficulty finishing sentences, incoherent speech, stumbling, falling, impaired fine-motor skills, and more. If they fail to do so and the individual goes on to cause a car accident, the establishment can be held liable for the damages.
These laws are in place for bars, restaurants, and private events. DRAM shop laws are applied under the following conditions:
- An employee of the establishment serves alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated
- The decision to serve the intoxicated customer directly caused injuries and damages
Social Host Laws
Social Host laws cover those who have parties where they serve guests. In the state of Pennsylvania, these laws apply to minors. If an adult holds an event where underage guests consume alcohol, they can be held liable if the guest leaves and is involved in a car accident.
It is important to know that this law is still in effect even if the host was unaware that minors were drinking at the party. The law can be applied to the following situations:
- If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and is injured or killed in an accident
- If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and injures or kills someone else
What Do I Do if I Am Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
One of the most important things to be done if you are involved in any type of car accident is to receive immediate medical attention. In doing so, you are able to discover and care for any injuries you may have. In addition to this, the healthcare professional treating you can document your injuries. This can be used as evidence to build a case against the individual that caused the accident. Evidence to build a case can also consist of the police report from the scene of the accident. This documents all the information about the accident and how it occurred. Victims of a drunk driving accident should contact an experienced attorney to help them prepare the proper evidence for a case.
Contact our Firm
Attorney Newman has represented clients in Pennsylvania for over 45 years. If you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the personal injury claims process or with any criminal defense matters, Attorney Newman is ready to help. Contact The Law Office of Neal E. Newman today to schedule a consultation.