Dram shop is a term that refers to a bar where alcoholic beverages are sold. The term dram also refers to a place where alcohol was sold by the dram, a small amount of liquid.
Dram shop liability generally refers to laws that impose responsibility upon bars, liquor stores that serve alcohol, to intoxicated persons, or those who have been overserved, who cause injuries to others as a result of alcohol related car crashes.
In Arizona those who furnish liquor have a duty to exercise care for the protection of others, this includes ceasing to furnish alcohol to customers, to protect members of the public who might be injured as a result of a customer’s intoxication or being overserved.
A licensee is also liable for injuries caused if liquor is sold to a minor without requesting identification containing proof of age or with knowledge that the person was under the legal drinking age.
Examples of bar overservice cases, where awards or settlements have been obtained include the following:
• A Tempe bar on Mill Avenue overserved a customer who killed a motorcycle passenger. I represented the decedent’s mother in a wrongful death jury trial against the drunk driver and the bar, a verdict of $1,800,000.00 was obtained against the bar, and the drunk driver.
• At another Tempe bar on Mill Avenue, the bar served over 14 drinks to a customer, who then drove his vehicle, and ran over my client, who was bicycling home on the sidewalk. My client suffered multiple leg fractures, and permanent injuries.
• In a Scottsdale bar case, my clients’ vehicle was rear-ended by a bar overserved customer who drove 80 miles per hour on Shea Boulevard and Hayden, when the crash occurred. Each client suffered brain, neck and back injuries.