North Dakota Alcohol Seller/Server Training
North Dakota Alcohol Seller/Server Training
Phone: 877.881.2235 Email:
  Phone: 877.881.2235  Email:

What You Need to Know About Alcohol Liability

The best way to protect yourself, patrons and your business is to get alcohol certified. The alcohol certification courses provided on this website have been approved by your local alcoholic beverage commission for responsible beverage service training & certification. 



Alcohol Liability is Covered by Three Legal Categories:

  • Civil
  • Criminal
  • Administrative


Civil Liability This law allows an injured party to bring suit against a licensee, social host or a company. Juries typically award compensatory and/or punitive damages to compensate the injured party. Awards can be in the thousands or millions of dollars. Civil Law in alcohol related suits are based upon the three laws:

  • The Dram Shop Law allows injured parties to sue establishments holding a liquor license for damages.
  • Negligence law is broad and tend to be associated with behavior and not doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances
  • Social Host laws relate to the responsibility of a Host of a party, event or function or anywhere alcohol is served to attendees. The Host can be held responsible if it is proven that alcohol was served in an improper manner.

Note: Each state adopts their own alcohol related laws, please click here to learn more about the alcoholic beverage laws in your state.


Criminal Liability This suit is filed by the state against a licensee, owner of a licensed establishment, employees, social hosts, and intoxicated persons. The basis for this action is irresponsible alcohol service by a bartender, waitress, licensee, manager, supervisor, company or anyone selling or serving alcohol to consumers on the premises or off. Typically, criminal liability suits are intended to punish offenders with prison time as opposed to monetary punishment in civil law suits. Important Note: In alcohol related cases for injury or death both civil and criminal charges can be filed. Each case would be decided independently.


Administrative Liability This law applies to licensee and/or holder of the liquor license and to alcohol sellers and servers. The state alcoholic beverage commissions set the penalty for various offenses related to the state alcohol laws. Penalties can include fines, suspension and revocation of a liquor license and seller/server permit. Typically, administrative action is the first action taken by an alcohol commission to warn/enforce state alcohol laws. Alcohol server certification can mitigate fines and penalties in most cases provided the entire staff is alcohol certified.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only! The owners of this website are held harmless for any actions taken or contemplated by any peron or persons as a result of the information provided. Please consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice on alcohol liability and the applicable alcohol laws in your state.  



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