Dram Shop Liability



The dram shop law is a type of public liability in which an establishment that sells alcohol must not engage in the ‘illegal sale’ of alcohol or could be held accountable for the actions that follow. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in any type of accident that involves alcohol, then it is important to consider how the dram shop law may affect you. You could be eligible for financial compensation for your losses and damages. Contact our International Falls and Duluth personal injury lawyers to learn more about how this may impact you and your family.


Dram shop laws in Minnesota state that liquor establishments and the individuals working there may be held responsible for an accident that results from an “illegal sale”.  What this means is that it is against the law for individuals working at a bar or any other establishment to sell alcohol:

  • To a person that is already intoxicated
  • To a person under the legal drinking age
  • Any sale on a day prohibited by law or during hours prohibited by law,
  • To a person that is not a member of a specific club

This is termed as an “illegal sale.” What this means is that if you are working at a pub, bar, club or even liquor store, you are not supposed to serve customers that look underage and appear to be intoxicated. Asking for photo identification is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your customer is of age; however, there is no photo ID that can prove one’s sobriety.

If, for example, the person who has purchased the alcohol drives drunk and gets into an accident, the server and the liquor establishment could be held liable for the losses of those hurt in the accident.

Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

All Liquor establishments and bars are required to purchase liability insurance for cases such as this. What this means is that you could be offered compensation through an insurance claim. However, this may or may not be an adequate offer for what you have gone through. Under the dram shop law, you could be compensated for:

  • loss of wages
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of care and companionship
  • medical expenses, surgeries, equipment
  • loss of benefits


The rules of public liability lawsuits and dram shop laws are not something that you are expected to be familiar with. However, our team of lawyers at ShermoenJaksa Law is.  We can help you understand your options and assess your case.  Let us help you and your family move forward after this unfortunate accident. Contact our team in International Falls, MN office at (218) 283-4494 or Duluth, MN office (218) 625-2270 for a free initial consultation.