Georgetown Dram Shop Liability Lawyers

While a drunk driving accident is a clear indication of an intoxicated driver’s negligence, many overlook the responsibility that may belong to the drinking establishment that supplied the alcohol. South Carolina does not have a specific dram shop statute, but the state does recognize dram shop claims. Historically, dram shop liability has been determined via examination of decisions passed down by the South Carolina Supreme Court. In Hartfield v. The Getaway Lounge and Grill, Inc, precedence was established that an alcohol vendor can be held liable for injuries if they serve patrons who are obviously intoxicated. Serving those who are visibly impaired has contributed to countless injuries and, as such, these so-called dram shop liability laws are in place to ensure victims receive the full amount of restitution they are due.

Establishments that serve alcohol have a legal duty to make sure they are serving responsibly. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a drunk driving accident, the dedicated Georgetown dram shop liability lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC believe you should never settle for less than the full amount of compensation you deserve. Because dram shop laws in South Carolina are not clearly outlined, seeking a well-versed attorney to determine the validity of your claim is pivotal to ensuring you are getting the full amount of damages you are entitled to. Driving under the influence has destroyed countless lives and victims of such reckless behavior should recover as much as they need to rehabilitate and heal.

Dram Shop Liability in South Carolina

Although a state-wide Dram Shop Act is absent, it is still illegal to knowingly serve persons who are already intoxicated. In a stipulation known as “permissive inference,” handed down in the Hartfield case, the prosecution successfully argued that anyone with a BAC level over the legal limit is obviously intoxicated. Previous cases that have established precedence in dram shop law include:

  • Jamison v. The Pantry, Inc – The court decided that the establishment could be held liable for injuries based on the facts that alcohol was sold to a minor whose BAC was over the legal limit, and that the subsequent drunk driving accident was “forseeable.”
  • Steele v. Rogers – The court decided that the act of selling alcohol to a minor was not sufficient enough alone to hold liability for subsequent injuries caused; additionally, there had to be evidence that the defendant was intoxicated by the alcohol sold to them when the accident occurred.
  • Hartfield v. The Getaway Lounge and Grill, Inc – The court decided that an establishment who served alcohol could be held liable for subsequent injuries if they served a “visibly intoxicated adult.”

The South Carolina court has also previously decided that a social host liability claim—wherein a guest who was provided alcohol at a party or social engagement later causes injuries—only exists if the guest was under age 21. Because the statute of limitations for bringing a dram shop claim in South Carolina is only three years, obtaining counsel immediately is pertinent to recovering full restitution.

Contact a Dram Shop Liability Lawyer in Georgetown

Before you determine if you have a valid claim against an alcohol establishment, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified dram shop liability attorney. At Evans Moore, LLC, our proficient legal team can help you fight for damages if a bar or tavern was careless with their service. Don’t hesitate to call our Georgetown offices at (843) 995-5000 to discuss the details of your case.


Marnie H.

My attorney James Moore goes the extra mile for clients and I highly recommend Mr Moore. He is always available for his clients.


Honest and dedicated.


Amazing attorneys who will work very hard to make sure justice is served and that everything runs as smoothly as possible.


I recently retained Mr. James Moore to represent me in an accident involving a trucking company. He settled the case in a timely and professional manner, and i couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I would recommend him and the firm, with the highest regards, to anyone needing legal representation.


God Bless James Moore & Scott Evans for the work they do – fighting for those that cannot speak for themselves, those that are pushed aside and thrown away, those that do not have a voice, those that are true victims.


James and Scott’s personal attention and responsiveness are attributes that made them really stand out. Their preparedness and dedication to a favorable outcome was exceptional. They are both genuinely good people who care for the well-being of their clients.


Professional while also being engaging. Walked family through tough experience and was knowledgeable calming voice. Very glad we hired.

Jenn (on behalf of her father)

After suffering a tragic loss, I went to several law firms looking for someone to help with some sort of settlement from the family of the person who caused the loss. After having the door shut in my face, countless times I met with James and Scott, who agreed to take the case to see what he could do. Each time , throughout the process I called the office, no matter who I spoke to or why I called, everyone made me feel like a valued client. I am grateful for the Evans Moore law firm and will recommend them to anyone who would find their representation useful.


Scott Evans handled cases for my daughter and me in the last few years with great results. He is professional, knowledgeable, caring and provides comfort for his clients during their hard times. Office staff at Evans Moore is terrific, always helpful when I called and a great asset to the firm. Should i need legal help in the future I will call Evans Moore.


I retained James Moore of Evans Moore Law firm in regards to traffic accident in which I was involved. The expert advice, legal support and personal attention Mr. Moore provided during a stressful time and unfavorable situation was unparalleled. Not only was the issue resolved swiftly, but Mr. Moore went out of his way to keep me updated on all matters during the process. The next time I’ll need to call ‘my lawyer,’ as they say, I’ll know exactly who to call. Thanks again to Mr. Moore and the entire Evans Moore Law Firm for your support!