Davis Rothwell has a breadth of experience with liquor liability, or “dram shop” coverage, for commercial alcohol providers (licensees and permittees) and social hosts.

While alcohol providers were not historically held liable for injuries caused by intoxicated persons, many courts and legislatures have now recognized alcohol provider civil liability in an area of law that has come to be known as liquor liability, or “dram shop,” law.

Our firm is frequently retained to defend commercial alcohol providers and social hosts in a variety of cases involving claims for injury or death arising out of alcohol over-service. These claims frequently involve an intoxicated patron or guest who has injured someone in a motor vehicle accident – but also include other scenarios, such as criminal assaults. We also defend first-party claims in which an intoxicated patron or guest was injured as a result of alcohol over-service or an alcohol-related premises liability risk.


Davis Rothwell’s personal injury defense practice, which includes our liquor liability practice area, makes up 24 percent* of the firm’s total caseload. (*Based on files for last five years.)

Liquor liability laws are frequently changing, often varying wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Our firm has experience litigating liquor liability cases in Oregon and Washington state courts, as well as in federal courts. At both the state court of appeals and state supreme court levels, we have been successful in not only defending successful trial court results, but also in creating legal precedent favorable to the industry.

Our firm’s years of experience in defending liquor liability cases enable us to protect commercial alcohol providers, insurers, and social hosts before and after a claim heads into litigation. Our focus is on developing effective strategies on all aspects of liquor liability claim defense, including a variety of highly technical issues, such as ability to metabolize alcohol and the body’s reaction to the interaction of alcohol with other intoxicants.


Davis Rothwell’s liquor liability cases are included in the firm’s personal injury defense practice, an area in which Davis Rothwell personnel have received numerous awards. These include “Best Lawyers® in America” for personal injury defense litigation, as well as both “Super Lawyers®” and “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” for personal injury defense.