What is Dram Shop Law?
A “dram shop” case refers to a case pursued on behalf of someone who is injured or the family of someone killed as a result of drunk driver who became intoxicated from alcohol served at a bar. The term “dram shop” was historically used to refer to a tavern or a pub.
In South Carolina, it is against the law for a bar to serve alcohol to a person who the bartender knew – or should have known – was intoxicated. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for bars to continue to serve people who are intoxicated and who cause automobile accidents which result in serious injury or death.
Legal Responsibilities for Bartenders
Bartenders who over serve intoxicated patrons at their bars can be at risk for legal or civil charges. Though these cases can be tricky, well prepared attorneys can certainly make the case. Bartenders are prohibited to provide alcohol to “visibly” intoxicated guests. Of course this can be a vague term, but in these cases, a plaintiff typically has to provide a higher degree of proof.
Not only can a bartender be held responsible for over serving patrons, they can also be seen as a contributor to the intoxication by encouraging a person to purchase alcohol or facilitating the intoxicated person’s consumption of alcohol.
Dram Shop Laws in South Carolina
Dram shop laws refer to any commercial governance of bars and pubs in an effort to hold bartenders accountable for their service. These laws are meant to protect communities from the associated dangers that come with over-intoxicated patrons – especially those who may get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
South Carolina legislature recently passed legislation requiring bars to carry liability insurance coverage, which improves our ability to collect a settlement or judgment for our clients.
Consult A Lawyer
Our lawyers at Fayssoux & Landis, PA have successfully recovered millions of dollars for individuals injured or the families of those killed as a result of bars serving alcohol to intoxicated persons. We believe the key to maximizing our clients’ recovery is to prepare the case as if it is going to trial, which we have successfully done. In a tragic and highly publicized case in Richland County, our lawyers obtained a multi-million- dollar verdict for the family of a child killed by a drunk driver who was intoxicated from alcohol served at several bars.
In addition to having clients contact us directly, we welcome the opportunity for other lawyers to associate us. This is often done through a contingent fee that does not require any additional fee to be paid by the clients. Over the past several years, Fayssoux & Landis has paid significant fees to lawyers who refer dram shop cases pursuant to the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.
Do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation so we can discuss whether legal representation may be beneficial for you.
Paul Landis is an attorney at Fayssoux and Landis law firm. Paul specializes in personal injury law, business litigation, and medical malpractice law. Paul is a top 40 under 40 US Trial Lawyer. Learn more about Paul.