Understanding Dram Shop Laws and DUI in Virginia
M. Scott Bucci—May 26, 2017
When a person is harmed because of a drunk driver, it is the injured person’s right to file a civil lawsuit to seek damages from the liable party. In some states, the law allows the wronged party to take it a step further under “dram shop” law, or social host liability. Each state has its own laws for this, and Virginia is one of the states that does not have dram shop liability.
What are Dram Shop Laws?
Dram shop laws allow the injured person to place responsibility for the incident on the establishment or person who provided the alcohol in the first place. These laws hold bars, restaurants, and other establishments that provide alcohol, legally responsible for over-serving intoxicated customers.
However, in the state of Virginia, the law holds that individuals are independently responsible for the injuries and damages caused because of their actions and intoxication. The provider of the alcohol is, therefore, not to be held responsible simply for providing the means.
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