Dram-Shop Laws in Massachusetts

It is well known that drunk drivers in Massachusetts oftentimes cause serious and sometimes fatal car accidents.  Most people are aware that drunk drivers can be faced with criminal charges.  But also, drunk drivers who cause injuries to others can be sued for negligence, among other things.

But many people do not know that if the drunk driver was over-served at a bar, that bar can also be sued for the victims of the drunk driver’s negligence.  Civil actions against a bar for over-serving an intoxicated person are known as dram-shop laws.  What these laws say is that under certain circumstances, the innocent victim can directly sue the bar that over-served the drunk driver.

It is advantageous to sue bars in these situations because many times the drunk driver may not have enough bodily injury insurance to adequately compensate the victims that end up being injured.  It is therefore logical in these situations to sue the bar that originally served the drunk driver.

From a negligence standpoint, it is foreseeable that by over-serving a person, that person may very well end up in an accident and injure innocent people.  That is why bars are oftentimes faced with dram-shop liability.

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