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Dram Shop Laws in Minnesota Protect the Public

by | Sep 21, 2016 | Criminal Defense, DUI/DWI

Dram shop laws in Minnesota help protect the public from individuals who consume excessive alcohol at bars and other social functions. The law allows people to seek claims for the medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering an alcohol-related accident can cause.

Businesses that violate dram shop laws can suffer hefty consequences that can include fines and settlements. Establishments that serve alcohol are required to ensure the safety of not only their patrons but the safety of motorists and other individuals they may encounter when they leave.

Dram shop laws are strictly enforced and are designed to protect the general public from drunk drivers. In Minnesota, multiple vendors or bars can be found liable for a patron’s actions. Thus, if a patron visits one bar and then another, both bars can be found to share a percentage of the liability for accidents and altercations that may cause personal injury to members of the public.

Dram Shop Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota law holds alcohol vendors liable for selling alcoholic beverages to individuals who cause accidents. The law allows for injured parties or their survivors to seek damages from licensed alcohol vendors.

Minnesota courts interpret the statutes broadly, and it does not require the venue to sell the beverage to the individual who caused the accident. Thus, the establishment can be held accountable even if a 3rd party on-site supplied the individual with beverages consumed on the premises. This means that even if the establishment refused to serve an intoxicated or underage patron, they can be held accountable for the individual’s consumption of alcohol and the subsequent accident they cause.

Social Hosts are Liable, too

The host of a party is liable for the actions and subsequent DWI’s of their guests. In Minnesota, hosts can be held liable for the actions of minors who consume alcohol at social functions. The law does not allow for injured parties to seek damages for property damage or personal injury if the person causing the accident has reached the age of 21.

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