In a July 5th ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court, convenience stores CAN be held liable for harm resulting from selling alcohol to a noticeably drunk customer that gets behind the wheel of a car.
This surprise decision means that dram shop law applies to more businesses than bars and restaurants. This ruling means that grocery stores, liquor stores, and convenience stores will be subject to the same law once thought unique to bars and restaurants.
In it’s ruling, the court states that dram shop law “was intended to encompass the sale of an alcoholic beverage at places other than the proverbial dram shop.” This ruling means that any place that serves alcohol will be subject to dram shop law. This is a game changer for sure!
If a store clerk standing at a cash register allows anyone that is already intoxicated to purchase alcohol and that person injures someone as a result of drinking and driving then that store clerk can be held responsible just the same as a bartender. No doubt this is going to make convenience store owners a little more nervous.