Navigate Liquor Liability Cases with a Skilled Boca Raton Dram Shop Lawyer

Originating from Medieval Latin, the word dram was used to describe a measurement of alcohol: less than a teaspoon. 

Now, the phrase dram shop is used as an American legal term for any establishment that sells or serves alcohol. That may include a bar, pub, tavern, restaurant, liquor store, or another commercial establishment.

What Is a Dram Shop?

A dram shop is a term used to describe a bar, tavern, or other establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. 

The term “dram” refers to a small unit of liquid often used to measure alcohol. In legal issues, “dram shop” can also refer to laws that hold such establishments responsible for any harm or damage caused by intoxicated patrons served alcohol on their premises.

Dram shop laws vary by jurisdiction, but they aim to prevent over-serving alcohol to customers and reduce alcohol-related accidents or incidents, such as drunk driving, assaults, or other illegal activities. 

Under these laws, an establishment may be held liable if they serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor who then causes harm to others.

Dram Shop Litigation

Dram shop laws are state regulations that hold alcohol-serving establishments and their customers accountable for negligent actions causing damage to the customer or others. If you’re involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you may pursue a dram shop lawsuit against the bar that provided alcohol to that driver.

Before the implementation of these laws, individuals could not file lawsuits against establishments like restaurants, liquor stores, or bars selling alcoholic beverages. The prevailing argument was that serving alcohol wasn’t the direct cause of injuries, and the blame fell solely on the intoxicated individual. 

Types of Dram Shop Cases

Several types of dram shop cases can arise from different circumstances. 

Here are some common examples:


This occurs when an establishment serves alcohol to someone habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages. This might include car accidents, physical altercations, or other alcohol-related incidents.

Serving minors

In this case, the establishment serves alcohol to an individual under legal drinking age, who causes harm or damage. This can lead to a dram shop liability claim against the establishment for providing alcohol to a minor.

Negligent security

An establishment may be held liable if they fail to provide adequate security measures, leading to alcohol-related altercations or injuries on their premises. 

This can include insufficient staff, poor lighting, or lack of surveillance.

Failure to intervene

If an establishment’s staff witness a visibly intoxicated patron engaging in dangerous behavior or becoming aggressive, they may be held responsible for not taking reasonable steps to intervene. This may prevent harm to the patron or others.

Third-party liability

In some cases, an establishment may be held responsible for harm caused by an intoxicated patron to a third party. This is even if the injured party was not a customer of the establishment.

These are just a few examples of dram shop cases, and each situation may have unique elements that affect the outcome. It is essential to consult with us to navigate these cases. We will seek appropriate compensation for any harm or damage caused.

Proving Liability

In most instances where an individual sustains an injury, negligence is the primary factor. However, dram shop lawsuits aren’t exclusively negligence-based. 

In such cases, liability may be based on intentional behavior or recklessness, depending on the state’s legislation. A more detailed discussion of these two types of conduct is provided below.


Recklessness refers to a situation where an individual knows an unjustifiable and substantial risk of something unsafe happening and yet consciously disregards it. 

If an individual knew that a particular action would likely be unsafe, but did that anyway, they have acted recklessly. When it comes to a dram shop lawsuit, a server is considered reckless if they intentionally served alcohol to individuals habitually addicted to the use of alcoholic beverages.

Dram Shop Case Evidence

Dram shop litigation often identifies certain evidence as more significant. 

For example, in some states, dram shop litigation states that the bar is negligent in the following cases:

  • Alcoholic beverages were served to someone without asking them for proof of age.
  • The restaurant or bar served someone visibly under the influence of alcohol.
  • The drink was served by the bar after closing time.
  • Dram shop litigation may also highlight evidence showing that the restaurant or bar wasn’t negligent. 

For instance, the following may suggest that the bar wasn’t negligent:

  • At the bar, customers are encouraged not to drink too much alcohol.
  • The bar promotes non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Bar customers are encouraged to book a taxi if they’ve had too much alcohol.

The Role of a Boca Raton Dram Shop Lawyer

Building a Solid Case

A skilled Boca Raton dram shop lawyer is essential for building a strong case in your favor. They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work tirelessly to prove that the establishment was negligent in serving alcohol to the responsible party.

Negotiating and Litigating

Your lawyer will also negotiate with the opposing party and represent you in court if necessary. 

With their extensive knowledge of dram shop laws and experience handling such cases, they will be your most trusted chance at a favorable outcome.

Choosing the Right Boca Raton Dram Shop Lawyer

Experience Matters

When looking for a Boca Raton dram shop lawyer, it’s crucial to find someone with ample experience in this specific area of law. Be sure to ask potential attorneys about their track record in similar cases and outcomes.

Communication and Availability

You’ll want a responsive and accessible lawyer throughout your case. Make sure your attorney is easy to contact and willing to keep you updated on the progress of your case.

Contact Dyson Law, PLLC today for your free consultation by calling us at 561-498-9979 or completing the online form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have a valid dram shop case?

To determine if you have a valid case, consult with a knowledgeable Boca Raton dram shop lawyer. They will evaluate your situation and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

How long do I have to file a dram shop case in Florida?

In Florida, you have two years from the incident date to file a lawsuit. However, it's advisable to consult with Dyson Law as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome.

What damages can I recover in a dram shop case?

Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your lawyer can provide more detailed information based on your specific case.

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