Dram Shop Rule Definition

A state law making a person or a business that sells or furnishes alcoholic drinks to an obviously intoxicated or underage person liable to anyone injured by the drunken or underage customer. Some states include "social host" liability in their dram shop law, imposing legal responsibility on those who host a party or social function when a drunken or underage guest causes injury.

In most states, absent a dram shop or social host law, there's no legal liability for selling or furnishing alcohol. The prevailing rule is that alcohol-related accidents are caused by drinking alcohol, not by providing it.