Dram Shop Liability

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Definition of Dram Shop Liability

A dram shop can include a tavern, restaurant or bar where alcoholic drinks are sold. This term is derived from 18th Century England when gin shops sold homemade gin by the "dram". Dram shop laws vary by state, but states which have these laws make it illegal to sell alcohol to a minor or to a person who is known to be an alcoholic. The goal of dram shop laws is to hold the businesses profiting from the sale of alcohol responsible for damages caused by patrons who drink and cause harm.

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