Holding drunk drivers and the bars or taverns that over-serve them responsible for the harms and damages that are caused.
Dram shop potential liability refers to the body of law governing the liability or responsibility (fault) of taverns, bars, restaurants or other commercial establishments that over-serve alcoholic beverages.
Washington State common law recognizes a cause of action against a commercial establishment (bar, tavern, restaurant) that over-serves an “apparently intoxicated” person who then hurts or even kills others by reason of the degree of intoxication.
This does not in any way excuse the intoxicated person but it does hold establishments liable in the event they do not take reasonable steps to prevent excessive intoxication.
Under dram shop laws, individuals who have been injured, suffered property damage, or lost a loved one due to the actions of an intoxicated person may have the right to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the alcohol.