Who is Responsible for the Acts of Intoxicated Persons?

The term “Dram Shop” is legal terminology that generally refers to an establishment that sells liquor out of its original container.   A “dram” was a small unit of liquid measurement and the “Shop” usually refers to a bar, tavern or similar business.

Before any statutes were passed, the theory was that those serving the liquor were not responsible for the harmful acts of intoxicated persons against other parties.  It was the intoxicated persons themselves that bore the responsibility for their acts.   The so-called Dram Shop Acts, enacted by most, if not all, states, now place part of the responsibility for the harmful acts of intoxicated persons on those that supplied the liquor, usually if the person to whom the liquor was supplied was “visibly intoxicated” at the time he/she was served, or if the person being served was a minor.

We will explore the variations and ramifications of this type of law which has been expanded and refined over the years..

Continued in: The Underaged and Intoxicated in New York