Dram Shop Laws in Washington D.C. | What to Know

In Washington D.C., bars, restaurants, and liquor stores have a responsibility to refuse to overserve patrons/serve minors. Read on to learn more about dram shop laws in Washington D.C.

What is Washington D.C.’s dram shop law?

Dram shop laws are in place so that when someone is injured due to the actions of a drunk driver, they may not only sue the drunk driver, but the establishment that served the driver alcohol, under certain circumstances. For instance, if an establishment that sold alcohol to any of the following individuals and that person got behind the wheel and injured you, you may also hold the establishment liable:

  • Individuals who are already intoxicated
  • Individuals who appear to be intoxicated, for example, slurring their words, stumbling, etc.
  • Individuals who have  “notoriously intemperate habits,” such as an alcoholic
  • Minors under the age of 21

In order to take legal action against, an establishment, you will have to provide proof of negligence. To do this, it is important to work with an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney who can help you obtain evidence, such as police reports, security camera footage, and more.

How long do I have to file a claim?

If you are injured by a drunk driver, you may wish to take action against the driver and the establishment that served him or her. In order to do this, it is important to act quickly. This is due to a deadline known as a statute of limitations. In Washington D.C., the statute of limitations for a personal injury accident is generally three years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within three years will likely mean losing your opportunity to recover the compensation you need and deserve. Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing any important deadlines.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may suffer from physical, emotional, and financial burdens. You likely deserve compensation for things like lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. In order to recover the compensation you deserve, reach out to our firm to work with a skilled and dedicated attorney. We will advocate for you every step of the way.


The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Washington D.C. or Maryland, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.