Friends raising beers for a toast

In Wisconsin, social host liability and dram shop liability only apply in certain situations. Below, we will discuss when you may be able to sue a third party for a drunk driving accident and what you can do to protect your rights if you were hurt or a drunk driver killed your loved one.

Wisconsin Social Host and Dram Shop Liability

A social host refers to an adult who knowingly and willingly provides alcohol at their home or property. A social host may be a parent who allows teens to drink in their home, an adult who provides alcohol for a teen party, or even an older sibling who allows their sibling or underage friend to use their ID to purchase beer.

A dram shop is a business, such as a bar, restaurant, or liquor store that sells alcohol.

Generally, social hosts and “dram shop” businesses are not responsible for drunk driving accidents caused by guests or customers who consumed alcohol at their homes or establishments.

However, a social host or a “dram shop” business may be sued for drunk driving injuries if they:

  • Forced, coerced, or deceived a person into drinking alcohol
  • Provided alcohol to a person they knew or should have known was under the age of 21

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident Injury or Death

You may bring a personal injury or wrongful death case against an intoxicated driver even if you also have a social host or dram shop liability case. Our experienced Wisconsin accident lawyers will ensure that you consider all possible defendants and that you pursue fair damages from all liable parties.

Let us help you pursue justice and make a fair recovery for your past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages.

We invite you to contact us any time to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation in our Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, or Wausau law office. Alternatively, we would be happy to meet with you by phone or video conference or in your home or hospital room. Call us, start an online chat, or complete our contact form today to learn more.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.