In recent years, numerous organizations throughout the United States have focused on reducing the thousands of preventable injuries and deaths caused by drunk driving accidents. Among the many efforts that have been made include laws aimed at holding alcohol-serving establishments liable for the role they played in contributing to alcohol-related crashes. These laws are known as Dram Shop laws.
What is a Dram Shop law?
Dram Shop laws establish provisions that allow for establishments that serve alcohol – including bars, restaurants, and night clubs – to be held liable for over-serving obviously intoxicated individuals or minors who later injure or kill others in alcohol-related accidents. This means that victims injured by drunk drivers – as well as families who have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents – have the ability to hold establishments that over served drivers liable, at least to some degree, for the harm they caused.
How do Dram Shop laws work?
Dram Shop liability laws accomplish several things:
- They allow victims and families who have suffered damages to hold drinking establishments accountable for their negligence when over-serving guests or serving minors.
- They reduce alcohol-related crashes, according to statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
- They help increase publicity and awareness about the dangers of over-serving and decrease excessive and illegal alcohol consumption.
- They ensure that all parties involved in drunk driving accidents are held accountable. By penalizing both responsible individuals and over-serving establishments, Dram Shop laws help others to consider consequences and to rethink practices about drinking and driving.
Does Virginia have a dram shop law?
Virginia remains one of the few states without a Dram Shop law. Victims and families whose lives have been forever changed by a drunk driving accident, however, still have the ability to recover compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury claim against the driver. Individuals who make the negligent, illegal, and extremely dangerous decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated must be held responsible for harming others.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver – or if you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident – our firm’s Northern Virginia personal injury lawyers are here to provide the genuine support and representation you need to assert your rights. Learn more about your case and how Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can help by calling (301) 952-1552 or requesting your free case evaluation today.