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Dram shop liability laws

Health Factors: Alcohol & Drug Use
Decision Makers: State Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Dram shop liability laws allow owners or servers at retail establishments where a customer recently consumed alcoholic beverages to be held legally responsible for harms inflicted by that customer (CG-Alcohol).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced alcohol-related harms
Improved health outcomes
Reduced fatal and non-fatal injuries

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that dram shop liability laws prevent and reduce alcohol-related harms (CG-Alcohol, IAS-Anderson 2006). Dram shop liability laws are associated with reductions in alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities, alcohol-related violence, alcohol-related disease (CG-Alcohol), overall motor vehicle fatalities, and homicide (CG-Alcohol, IAS-Anderson 2006).

Implementation

United States

Nearly all states have these laws in some form; laws vary in total liability and other criteria (NCSL-Dram shop).

Wisconsin

A server can be held liable for damages if they knew or should have known that the individual was under the legal age and the alcoholic beverages were a substantial factor in causing injury to a third party (NCSL-Dram shop).

Citations - Description

CG-Alcohol - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Excessive alcohol consumption. Accessed on April 6, 2017

Citations - Evidence

CG-Alcohol - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Excessive alcohol consumption. Accessed on April 6, 2017
IAS-Anderson 2006 - Anderson P, Baumberg B. Alcohol in Europe: A public health perspective. London, UK: Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS); 2006. Accessed on February 17, 2016

Citations - Implementation

NCSL-Dram shop - National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). Dram shop civil liability and criminal penalty state statutes. 2013. Accessed on January 28, 2016

Page Last Updated

August 1, 2014