DRAM Shop Liability

Georgia’s Dram Shop statute contains provisions that hold bars and restaurants accountable for injuries caused by drunk drivers who consume alcohol at their establishments and subsequently drive. When a patron at a bar who is under the legal drinking age or who is exhibiting signs of intoxication is served alcohol, the establishment providing the alcohol has potential liability. Georgia’s Dram Shop statute provides a cause of action to allow accident victims and their families to sue bars, restaurants, pubs and others establishments responsible for serving alcohol to minors or individuals exhibiting visible signs of intoxication who will soon be driving.

Establishments serving alcohol and their employees must act responsibly and owe a duty to the public to do their part to prevent accidents caused by drunk drivers. The public policy underlying the statute recognizes that restaurant’s and their employees are in a position to determine whether a patron has had too much before serving them another drink. Bar and restaurant owners and servers are required to serve alcohol to patrons in a reasonable and safe manner. Many alcohol-related accidents could be prevented if those serving alcohol exercised caution when serving patrons consuming alcohol.