What is Ohio’s Dram Shop Law?

April 23, 2016

When Bars Over-serve, Lives Hang in the Balance

When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, he becomes a danger to everyone on the road. As dram shop lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio, the law firm of Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA fights on behalf of injured clients to ensure that these drunk drivers face civil justice.

But sometimes the drunk drivers are not the only ones whose bad decisions lead to drunk driving accidents. When intoxicated drivers were over-served, Ohio’s dram shop law may make it possible for injured victims to hold negligent bars, restaurants, and other liquor permit holders liable for their dangerous practices.

What is a dram shop lawyer?

Long ago, dram shop was a term used for a pub or tavern that sold alcohol. Now dram shop is primarily a legal term referring to a law allowing those injured by an intoxicated person to hold the alcohol-serving establishment or person responsible for the acts of the intoxicated person.

Whereas those who advertise themselves as DUI or drunk driving lawyers typically defend drunk drivers in criminal court, dram shop lawyers like those at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA take action against those negligent drivers and alcohol sellers on behalf of the injured.

What is Ohio’s dram shop law?

Dram shop laws vary by state. Ohio’s dram shop law is codified in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4399.18, which can be read here.

In brief, Ohio’s dram shop law with respect to offsite drunk driving accidents (i.e., accidents that occur somewhere other than the liquor permit holder’s parking lot) creates a cause of action for those injured by the negligence of a drunk driver when the liquor permit holder or its employee knowingly sold alcohol to a noticeably intoxicated person or someone under the legal drinking age, and the served person’s intoxication proximately caused injury.

Ohio’s dram shop law also creates a cause of action against liquor permit holders for injuries that result from the actions of drunk individuals on the liquor permit holder’s property and caused by the permit holder’s negligence. This portion of the Ohio dram shop law is still in use, though perhaps not as frequently since dram shop cases tend to involve drunk driving accidents occurring on the road.

Finally, Ohio’s dram shop law also precludes dram shop liability against landlords of dram shops where the landlord is not also the liquor permit holder.

Who can help with an Ohio dram shop lawsuit?

Dram shop cases in Ohio require legal expertise and thorough understand of Ohio dram shop laws. If you or a loved one were injured, consult a dram shop lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio as soon as possible.

Drunk driving accident victims are urged to contact our trial team now for a free consultation.

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