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Dram Shop Liability in Indiana: A Guide to Legal Responsibility

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Dram Shop in Indiana

Dram Shop Liability in Indiana is the concept and legal framework that holds bars, restaurants, and similar establishments accountable for injuries resulting from over-serving patrons. This blog sheds light on the legal aspects and implications of dram shop liability in the state of Indiana. If an individual has been hit by a drunk driver, there may be a compensable injury claim that would accompany the underlying claim against the driver.

Understanding “Dram”: A Historical Alcohol Measure

A “dram” historically referred to a unit of measurement for alcoholic beverages, harking back to a time when precise servings were a customary practice. The term provides context to the legal concept of dram shop liability, emphasizing its historical underpinnings. A more modern term associated with this concept would be “over-serving”.

Dram Shop Liability: Responsibility of Alcohol Serving Establishments

Dram shop liability” is a legal principle holding bars, restaurants, and similar venues responsible for serving alcohol to patrons who subsequently cause harm or injuries due to intoxication. This article explains the importance of responsible alcohol service and how dram shop liability enforces it.

Purpose and Significance of Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws play a crucial role in promoting responsible alcohol service, aiming to reduce alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. By enforcing liability on establishments that over-serve patrons, these laws encourage vigilant alcohol consumption monitoring and responsible business practices.

In the state of Indiana, dram shop liability is a legal concept backed by statutes and precedents. Establishments serving alcohol are obligated to exercise caution and refrain from over-serving visibly intoxicated patrons. This section discusses the key components of dram shop liability in Indiana.

Establishing Dram Shop Liability: Key Aspects in Indiana

To establish dram shop liability in Indiana, several elements need consideration. A Party would need to prove the following: that (1) any person “furnishes” an alcoholic beverage to someone who is “visibly intoxicated” at the time the drink is provided and (2) the intoxication of the person who receives the drink is the “proximate cause” of death, injury, or property damage suffered by another party.

Under the existing precedent, a “person” that supplies an alcoholic beverage could be either a business that sells alcohol or anyone who furnishes (includes ” barter, deliver, sell, exchange, provide, or give away”) an alcoholic drink to another individual. This would include anyone who supplies alcohol for a party or special gathering with friends. The latter example is often referred to as “social host” liability.

In order to be successful on these claims, one must also be able to show the individual was “visibly intoxicated”. This is often proven through the circumstances of the case itself. Often if there was a blood alcohol test given after an accident, this can be proof of visible intoxication. There are often eye witness statements or video evidence which can establish an individual was visibly intoxicated.

Lastly, it would need to be proven that the intoxication was the “proximate cause” of the death, injury, or damages alleged. More simply, it would need to be shown that the accident and subsequent injury were a reasonably foreseen consequence of over-serving that individual.

Purpose of Dram Shop Liability: Fostering Safe Communities through Responsible Alcohol Service

Dram shop liability in Indiana were created to cultivate responsible alcohol service and a safer environment for all. By holding businesses accountable, these laws contribute to reducing alcohol-related accidents and ensuring the well-being of patrons.

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Understanding dram shop liability in Indiana is crucial for both businesses and patrons. It emphasizes responsible alcohol service and its role in creating a safer society. In Indiana, dram shop liability laws encourage businesses to prioritize safety and awareness when serving alcohol, ultimately working towards minimizing harm and promoting responsible consumption within the community. If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you may qualify for a dram shop claim.