DUI Liability in Pennsylvania

close up of beer being poured from bottle into glass
July 1, 2019
Legally Reviewed By Attorney Rand Spear, Esq.

People who drive under the influence and cause an accident can be held liable for their poor behavior. However, it is important to know that they may not be the only one. If the driver was being served somewhere else before causing an accident, the individual who served them may be held responsible as well. This is done through Pennsylvania’s DRAM Shop and Social Host laws.

DRAM Shop Laws

The state of Pennsylvania implements DRAM shop laws to protect victims of drunk driving accidents. These laws hold an establishment with a liquor license liable if they serve a visibly intoxicated driver who then causes an accident as a result. It is important for those serving alcohol to notice signs of intoxication so they can cut off drinkers. Signs can include slurred speech, glassy or bloodshot eyes, difficulty finishing sentences, incoherent speech, stumbling, falling, impaired fine-motor skills, and more.

If the establishment continues to serve the driver, they can legally be held liable for the injuries or death of another person from an accident. This is in effect for bars, restaurants, and private events. DRAM shop laws can be applied in the following circumstances:

  • An employee of the establishment serves alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated
  • The decision to serve the intoxicated customer directly caused injuries and damages

Social Host Laws

Social host laws in the state of Pennsylvania can affect those who host parties where underage drinking occurs. If a person has a party where alcohol is served to minors, the host can be held liable if the guest is involved in a car accident.

It is important to know that these laws can be placed on a host even if they were unaware that minors were consuming alcohol at their party. Social host laws can be applied in the following situations:

  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and is injured or killed in an accident
  • If a minor consumes alcohol at your party and injures or kills someone else

What Do I Do if I Am Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?

It is crucial for those involved in any kind of car accident to seek medical attention immediately. This allows you to address any injuries that may have occurred and treat them. In doing so, the injuries will be officially documented which can assist you in building a case against the drunk driver. In addition to this, a police report from the scene of the accident can gather all information regarding the accident and how it happened. This can also be used to form a case. If you were involved in a drunk driving accident, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to assist your case.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one has been in a personal injury accident in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you contact an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney to help you with your case. Contact Spear Greenfield to get the right attorney in your corner.