“One for the road” isn’t just an idle expression. For thousands of Pennsylvanians every year, drunk driving becomes a devastating reality. Behind every alcohol-related accident is one major irresponsible decision – someone decided to drive drunk. This decision leads to the most obvious responsible party in a DUI crash. Another irresponsible decision that can occur, leading to a drunker driver caused accident is when a bartender knowingly sells alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person – it’s this decision that can lead to DUI accident responsibility falling on additional parties.

In certain circumstances, victims in drunk driving accidents can pursue claims against the bar, club, restaurant or stadium (or other commercial establishments) that served or sold the alcohol to the visibly intoxicated individual. These claims are filed under Pennsylvania’s dram shop statute, which allows commercial drinking establishments such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, stadiums or liquor stores, to be held accountable under the following circumstances:

If the commercial establishment willfully and knowingly serves or sells alcohol:

  • To a person below the age of 21 who then leaves the establishment and causes an accident
  • To a person who is noticeably intoxicated who then leaves the establishment and causes an accident

Dram shop liability doesn’t just cover car accidents in Pennsylvania – it also covers injuries suffered in fights or falls involving visibly intoxicated patrons.

Just recently, the Pisanchyn Law Firm obtained a $2.3 million resolution in a dram shop case. Scott Bitler, of Bloomsburg, was injured in a crash involving a drunk driver on May 15, 2016, and was paralyzed until his death Feb. 19, 2019, at the age of 60.

Following a jury trial in December, Northumberland County Judge Paige Rosini issued an order to award the $2.3 million settlement in the case. According to the order, employees of the Sunbury Social Club and Bob Washington’s Tavern overserved Cody McCollum on May 15, 2016. McCollum, now age 27, was driving drunk in a GMC Sierra when he crossed the yellow lines on Route 147 on the Priestley Bridge and struck Bitler’s Jeep Wrangler at 1:15 a.m.

If you or your loved one is the victim of a drunk driving accident, our DUI accident attorneys will seek justice from all responsible parties, including those covered under the dram shop statute when applicable. Call 1-800-444-5309 now for your free consultation.