Social Host Liability Cases

Several states have enacted laws that allow a person injured by an intoxicated individual to hold the business that sold or served the alcohol liable for damages.

Some states, including Kentucky, also hold a business responsible if a person is injured as a result of being overserved (i.e. wreck after leaving a bar) if the business, “under the same or similar circumstances should have known that the person served is already intoxicated at the time of serving”.

Dram Shop laws in most states allow victims of drunk driving accidents (or their families) to hold bars and alcohol retailers accountable for the death, injury, or any other damages caused by an intoxicated customer. Similar to dram shop laws are social host liability laws, which hold the hosts of private functions liable for injuries (or death) caused by their negligence in serving alcohol and/or failing to prevent an impaired guest from driving.

What Is A Dram Shop?

“Dram Shop” laws are named after establishments in 18th Century England that sold gin by the spoonful (called a “dram”). These laws are enforced through civil lawsuits, allowing DUI victims or their families to sue alcohol vendors or retailers for monetary damages.


Injured parties may be able to receive compensation for past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages from time off work, diminished capacity to earn, and past and future pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

In some instances, Kentucky law ALSO allows juries to award punitive damages.

Punitive damages are meant to punish behavior that is intentional and/or grossly negligent to dissuade others from the same behavior.

Winton & Hiestand Law Group are well versed in Dram Shop and Social Host Liability statues. If you or a loved one have been injured by an intoxicated person, we can help you determine the best course of action for your situation. Contact us to schedule a FREE initial consultation.