Alcohol – Excessive Consumption: Dram Shop Liability

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Systematic Review

Source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services

Last Reviewed: March 2010

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) concludes that dram shop liability is effective in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harms. Named after an old term for businesses that sell alcohol, dram shop liability laws make business owners legally responsible if someone buys a drink at the business, leaves, and then causes harm. CPSTF found that dram shop liability laws prevent harms related to excessive drinking — like death or injury from motor vehicle crashes. 

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Guide to Community Preventive Services. (2010). Alcohol - Excessive consumption: Dram shop liability. Retrieved from