Alaska’s Dram Shop Law in Personal Injury Cases

Alaska’s Dram Shop Law

You may be asking yourself, “What is a dram shop law?” Simply put, a dram shop law is one that seeks to hold alcohol providers accountable if someone they over-serve injures another person. In Alaska, if you are injured in an accident with an intoxicated person, you may have an additional avenue of recovery to compensate you for your injuries other than the intoxicated person who injured you.


Specifics of the Alaska Dram Shop Law

Alaska’s Dram Shop law is specific as to whom can be held accountable under the law. A person must be licensed under Alaska law to provide alcohol in order to come under the authority of the law. Now the question becomes when does the licensed person become liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated person.

The licensee can become liable for injuries to a third party if:

  • They provide alcohol to a person under 21 years of age (unless they are misled by a fake ID or signed statement that the person was actually 21 or older); or
  • They provide alcohol to a drunken person;
  • They allow another person to provide alcohol to a drunken person within the licensed premises
  • They allow a drunken person to enter and remain within the licensed premises or to consume alcohol while there
  • They permit a drunken person to sell or serve alcohol


Application of the Dram Shop Law

To understand how this law applies to a common situation, here is a hypothetical. Bob goes to his local bar and starts drinking beer. He drinks a number of drinks very quickly. He begins slurring his words. As he gets up to go to the bathroom, he stumbles. He has a few more drinks. The bartender witnesses all of this and serves him until he leaves. Alaska law defines a “drunken person” as someone whose physical or mental conduct is substantially impaired as a result of alcohol and “who exhibits those plain and easily observed or discovered outward manifestations of behavior commonly known to be produced by the overconsumption of alcoholic beverages.” If Bob was a “drunken person” and now goes out and injures someone, the bar operator and the bartender are potentially liable for any damages he causes.


Unfortunately, we know that intoxicated people hurt innocent people every day. While there is not a lot that can be done to prevent injuries from those who get intoxicated at home, the law provides a remedy to those who are injured by someone who has been over-served by a licensed bar. If you find yourself in this situation, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are preserved. The experts at Power & Power Law have the skill, expertise, and passion to ensure you get the results you deserve. Give them a call today at 907-222-9990 or toll free at 833-669-9990, by email at or by clicking here to set up your initial consultation.