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Car Insurance

Every state's dram shop law, explained

Bars and restaurants can be held accountable for illegally selling alcohol. How well do you know your state's dram shop laws?

According to the CDC, more than 10,000 people are killed in car crashes every year that are caused, in at least some part, by an intoxicated driver. In an effort to combat this problem, states have taken it upon themselves to develop legislative strategies to keep drunk drivers off the road. According to public policy researchers, the most effective technique is allowing people that have been hurt by drunk drivers to sue the bars and restaurants who were serving the alcohol in the first place.

Bars and restaurants in 35 states and the District of Columbia can be held accountable for illegally selling alcohol to minors and for serving alcohol to patrons who are already visibly intoxicated. This type of lawsuit is called a "dram shop lawsuit", named after the teaspoons of liquor, or "drams", that were commonly served in early-American taverns. Dram DUI Lawyers' infographic goes into more detail about these laws and how dram shop laws vary from state to state.