Dram Shop Law Against Bar Overserving – Lawyer MN


The laws in Minnesota are very strict against a bar over-serving a customer, serving alcohol to people underage, and staying open after legally allowed hours. If a bar violates these dram shop laws, the bar can be fined or lose its license. The bar can also be held civilly liable (sued) if someone is injured because of the intoxication of a person who was served alcohol illegally.

Our drunk driver car accident attorneys in MN have experience representing people injured because of the illegal sale of alcohol by a bar. Most of these cases have involved a driver driving drunk. However, our MN lawyers have also represented people who have been attacked at a bar or injured by a drunk bar customer, or even a bouncer.

Bar responsible for overserving customer
Bar responsible for overserving customer

Here are the dram shop laws in Minnesota:


It is a gross misdemeanor:

(1) to sell an alcoholic beverage without a license authorizing the sale;

(2) for a licensee to refuse or neglect to obey a lawful direction or order of the commissioner or the commissioner’s agent, withhold information or a document the commissioner calls for examination, obstruct or mislead the commissioner in the execution of the commissioner’s duties or swear falsely under oath;

(3) to violate the provisions of sections 340A.301 to 340A.312;

(4) to violate the provisions of section 340A.508;

(5) for any person, partnership, or corporation to knowingly have or possess direct or indirect interest in more than one off-sale intoxicating liquor license in a municipality in violation of section 340A.412, subdivision 3;

(6) to sell or otherwise dispose of intoxicating liquor within 1,000 feet of a state hospital, training school, reformatory, prison, or other institution under the supervision and control, in whole or in part, of the commissioner of human services or the commissioner of corrections;

(7) to violate the provisions of section 340A.502;

(8) except as otherwise provided in section 340A.701, to violate the provisions of section 340A.503, subdivision 2, clause (1) or (3);

(9) to withhold any information, book, paper, or other thing called for by the commissioner for the purpose of an examination;

(10) to obstruct or mislead the commissioner in the execution of the commissioner’s duties;

(11) to swear falsely concerning any matter stated under oath; or

(12) to violate the provisions of section 340A.503, subdivision 5, after having been convicted previously of violating section 340A.503, subdivision 5.


Subdivision 1. Right of action.

A spouse, child, parent, guardian, employer, or other person injured in person, property, or means of support, or who incurs other pecuniary loss by an intoxicated person or by the intoxication of another person, has a right of action in the person’s own name for all damages sustained against a person who caused the intoxication of that person by illegally selling alcoholic beverages. All damages recovered by a minor under this section must be paid either to the minor or to the minor’s parent, guardian, or next friend as the court directs.

Subd. 2. Actions.

All suits for damages under this section must be by civil action in a court of this state having jurisdiction.

Subd. 3. Comparative negligence.

Actions under this section are governed by section 604.01.

Subd. 3a. Defense.

The defense described in section 340A.503, subdivision 6, applies to actions under this section.

Subd. 4. Subrogation claims denied.

There shall be no recovery by any insurance company against any liquor vendor under subrogation clauses of the uninsured, underinsured, collision, or other first party coverages of a motor vehicle insurance policy as a result of payments made by the company to persons who have claims that arise in whole or part under this section. The provisions of section 65B.53, subdivision 3, do not apply to actions under this section.

Subd. 5.

[Repealed, 1987 c 152 art 2 s 5]

Subd. 6. Common law claims.

Nothing in this chapter precludes common law tort claims against any person 21 years old or older who knowingly provides or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 years.


The Rochlin Law Firm, Ltd. has successfully represented and fought for clients who have been injured in an auto accident by a drunk driver. In addition we look to the person or bar that has wrongfully over served them. We also represent people who have been injured at a bar by another customer in a bar fight or attack.

When our clients are injured because of being hit by a drunk driver, we hold the drunk driver, and if necessary the bar, accountable. Our MN personal injury lawyers have considerable experience obtaining the necessary expert and investigative documentation to prove a case against the drunk bar customer that injures someone or the drunk driver and the irresponsible liquor establishment.

If you have been injured because a drunk driver rear ended you or otherwise caused your accident – or if one of your loved ones has been killed in a drunk driving car crash – please call us and speak with a top lawyer for a free consultation. Likewise if you are injured at a bar because a drunk customer attacked or hurt you at the bar, our lawyers can help you sue the bar for over serving the other customer. See also, How to Get Medical Bills Paid.

An attorney will meet with you to discuss your drunk driver accident case at our offices in Minneapolis, Woodbury, and Edina. Our attorneys will also meet with you at your home if you have been hit or rear ended by a drunk driver in St. Paul MN, Forest Lake, Lake Elmo, Brooklyn Park, and Brooklyn Center. We also come to Anoka Minnesota, Plymouth, Rogers, Chanhassen, Chaska, Burnsville, Richfield, and other cities throughout Minnesota.