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Iowa Laws and Dram Shop Liability

If you are in Iowa and having a good time drinking with your friends, it is easy to go a little overboard with the liquor. Don’t take offense if the barmaid or bartender cuts you off; the law requires it.

Dram shop laws in Iowa are pretty much representative of the dramshop laws all over the US. A dramshop is any establishment which serves liquor, wine and any alcohol beverage onsite. In colonial times, a “dram” is a liquid unit of measurement used by drinking establishments – called shops – to measure out liquor.

Dram shop laws are a carry-over from the mid-1800s during the Temperance movement. Modern applications of the statutes are designed to pressure establishments that sell alcohol to exercise more care in who they serve. The principle behind the law is that those who profit from selling alcohol should also be responsible for the consequences.

According to Iowa Code § 123.92, a person injured in a car wreck caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol can also make a claim against the dram shop that supplied the alcohol “when the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated.” Those holding liquor licenses or permits are required to show proof of liability coverage.

Iowa is one of the states that also penalize anyone who serves alcohol to minors even if they are not a licensed seller of alcohol. If a minor is injured or harmed as a consequence of their intoxication, the minor has the right to make a claim against the person who supplied the alcohol provided that person knew that the claimant was under legal age. If you or someone you know was involved in a car wreck because of drunk driving in Iowa, consult with an auto accident lawyer conversant with the dram shop laws of the state.

2 Responses to “Iowa Laws and Dram Shop Liability”

  1. Click here says:

    It is great that Iowa allows bartenders to cut people off when they’ve had too much. It should really limit drunk driving.

  2. Do you have an email list

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