Philadelphia Dram Shop Lawyer
Drunk driving is a prevalent problem throughout the country. Last year, in Pennsylvania alone, there were over 11,000 alcohol-related car accidents. Nearly 8,000 Pennsylvanians were injured in these accidents and 368 people lost their lives. If not for the diligent work of the police, the results would have been far worse. Nearly 65,000 Pennsylvanians were arrested last year for drunk driving. Clearly, Drunk Driving is a real problem and all parties responsible must be held accountable for their actions. In Pennsylvania, this includes those who provide alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals. The law that allows injured parties to sue those who provide the alcohol is called the Dram Shop Act. If you have been the victim of a drunk driver's actions you may be entitled to compensation from both the driver and their bartender or the establishment or social host that provided them with alcohol. Call the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to discuss the options available to you.
The Dram Shop Act
The Dram Shop Act serves to establish liability of parties - whether a bar or social host - that sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or minors who cause injury to third parties resulting from alcohol-related accidents. Basically, this means that if somebody provides alcohol to a person who is already clearly intoxicated, they can be held liable for this reckless act.
Too often the people providing the alcohol pay no mind to their actions. They think they are just selling alcohol or giving alcohol to a friend and it is solely that person's responsibility to monitor their behavior. But given the nature of intoxication, this is an unreasonable and irresponsible position. Once a person has become intoxicated, his/her mental abilities diminish significantly, including the ability to reason. It is unlikely that they will make the best decisions once intoxicated. Therefore, those in the position to provide them alcohol must be responsible for making this decision for them. Rather than view an intoxicated person as an opportunity to make a few bucks, a bartender should refrain and recognize the danger this person poses to themselves and society. Likewise, rather than looking to be an agreeable friend and benevolent host, a social host needs to stop serving alcohol to a clearly intoxicated guest.
What Must We Prove?
The key tenet to recovery against the provider is proving that the individual was "obviously intoxicated." Clearly, we cannot hold every seller of alcohol responsible for every action of every person who consumed any quantity of alcohol at their establishment at some time prior to causing an accident. There would be no liquor industry and this would be tantamount to making the sale of liquor illegal.
This is why the standard is "obviously intoxicated." Witness statements, defendant testimony and evidence of alcohol type/quantity may be used to make this determination.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as the result of an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to recover under the Dram Shop Act. Call the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We can help you recover and make sure those responsible are held accountable.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.