Michigan, like several other states, has what is known as a dram shop law that may apply in certain drunk driving cases. “Dram shop” is an old term for an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages, which used to be served in units called drams.
The dram shop law holds those who work in these establishments liable for serving alcohol to someone who is overly intoxicated if that person is later involved in a motor vehicle accident that causes property damage or personal injury. If patrons in a bar, restaurant, or other drinking establishment meet the legal standard of being “visibly impaired ,” then the bartender or server is legally required to stop serving them alcohol.
The dram shop law is not a criminal statute. However, if you were the last person to furnish alcohol to someone who caused damage to property or the injury or death of another person, the property owner or victim’s family can take you to civil claims court for compensation of the damages.