It is illegal in South Carolina to knowingly serve someone alcohol beyond the point of intoxication. A commercial establishment that serves alcohol, such as a bar or restaurant (also considered dram shops), can be held accountable for the actions of underage or over-served customers.

What Are South Carolina’s Dram Shop Laws

The state of South Carolina does not have a specific dram shop law. Instead, dram shop claims are settled through South Carolina’s criminal statutes associated with the sale of alcohol, which includes:

  • The S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-580(2): forbid the sale of alcohol to an already intoxicated person.
  • The S.C. Code Ann. §61-4-580(1): prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21.

Dram shop claims are authorized through the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court using alcohol-related criminal laws and the state’s common law of negligence to hold bars, liquor shops, restaurants, and others liable for injuries and damages caused by an over-served driver.

Social Host Liability

Social hosts can also be held accountable for injuries caused by an over-served driver or a minor. For example, if someone has a party at their home, and a guest over drinks and injures another person in a car accident on South Carolina roadways after the party, the host could be held liable.

Establishing Fault in Dram Shop Cases

South Carolina’s criminal statutes regulating the sale of alcohol are used when filing a civil lawsuit for injuries. Dram shop cases cover a broad range of various types of commercial establishments, including bars, restaurants, country clubs, and social events. Owners of these establishments, servers, and bartenders can be sued for over-serving their customers.

However, the suit must prove that the establishment knowingly continued to serve alcoholic beverages to a customer they knew or should have known was intoxicated. This does not mean that someone has to be visibly drunk for servers to know the person is intoxicated.

South Carolina enacted a law that requires all establishments serving alcohol or alcoholic beverages to have a one-million-dollar liquor liability policy, which helps victims recover their damages.

Establishing fault in a dram shop case can be particularly difficult. This requires a skilled attorney who understands how the South Carolina dram shop laws work.

What Damages Can You Recover in a South Carolina Dram Shop Liability Case?

A liquor liability lawyer can help victims of dram shop cases to recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Funeral costs

Contact a Charleston Liquor Liability Lawyer for Help

If you are involved in a Charleston accident and need help filing a dram shop case, you can trust the legal team at Lesemann & Associates to do a brilliant job. We represent clients across Charleston, SC, and help fight for their cases to ensure they get maximum compensation.

Schedule your free consultation online or call us at (843) 724-5155 to discuss your case details with our experienced Charleston liquor liability lawyers.