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What are Ohio's 'dram shop' laws?

When Ohio residents lose a loved one in a sudden accident, it is difficult to come to terms with their loss. When the crash is the result of a drunk driver, it is even more difficult to grasp how a drunk driver could get behind the wheel intoxicated and risk the lives of everyone on the road. One of the ways drunk driving accident victims can get closure is by holding the drunk driver accountable for their irresponsible behavior. In addition to this, under Ohio's Revised Code section 4399.18, accident victims can hold businesses accountable if a drunk person goes on to cause an accident. These laws are known as "dram shop" laws.

According to these laws, families of deceased accident victims or victims who have been injured can hold bars and alcohol retailers accountable for injuries, damages or deaths caused by a customer who was intoxicated. In Ohio, compensation is possible if the injuries took place on the vendor's property and were also caused by negligence on the vendor's part. If the injuries took place off of the vendor's property, then compensation is possible if the vendor knowingly sold alcohol to a person who was noticeably intoxicated or to someone under the age of 21. This law applies only to vendors who are licensed to sell alcohol

It is not possible to quantify the injuries or loss of life that happens in the event of a crash, but compensation received through a successful lawsuit can go a long way in alleviating the financial burden that follows an accident. In addition to this, holding the vendor accountable may also prevent similar accidents in the future.

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