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Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Aug 31, 2018 in Auto Accidents

What Does Dram Shop Liability Mean and How Does It Apply?

Drunk driving accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death. This situation is made worse knowing that the accident could have been avoided and that the driver acted in a negligent manner by getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Under South Carolina dram shop laws, a drunk driving victim may be able to seek compensation from the owner of a bar, liquor store or other retailer selling alcohol if they served a drink to a visibly intoxicated person who then caused a drunk driving accident. Dram shop is a traditional term used for a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small unit of liquid.

Who Is Responsible for South Carolina Drunk Driving Accidents?

Our laws also recognize that bartenders or bars may share some of the responsibility. A person who is injured in a drunk driving accident may sue the bar, the owner or an individual employee who served alcohol to the driver if he or she was visibly intoxicated. It is against South Carolina law to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. The idea behind dram shop liability is that the bartender, like the drunk driver, knows that intoxicated drivers are dangerous. If a bartender serves an already intoxicated patron who then gets into a car and causes an accident, the bar or bartender might be held responsible.

How We Can Help?

At the Anderson, South Carolina, law firm of Harbin & Burnett LLP, we have years of experience analyzing car accident claims and representing injury victims as they seek fair compensation. Our attorneys frequently handle drunk driving accident cases. Whenever we work on behalf of a DUI accident victim, we explore the possibility that one or more bars or bartenders might share financial responsibility for the accident with the driver. If you have questions about dram shop liability in a drunk driving accident case, contact Harbin & Burnett LLP, to get answers to your questions from an experienced personal injury lawyer. 

Don't Drink and Drive.

Harbin & Burnett strongly urge motorists not to drink and drive.  It is both dangerous and illegal.  The risk of injury to yourself or others is simple too great. Call an Uber, taxi, or friend.  If you are at a bar or restaurant and feel you are impaired, get them to call you a cab.  You will be glad you did.


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