Pennsylvania Laws Regarding Alcohol Service
The Pennsylvania Liquor Code makes it illegal for licensees, or their servants, agents, or employees, to serve alcoholic beverages to visibly intoxicated patrons and minors.
- Violations of that law by licensees may result in fines from $1,000 to $5,000 (unless at the time of the sale, licensee was RAMP-certified and had not sold to VIPs or minors in the previous 4 years, then licensee's fine would be from $50 to $1,000); suspension or revocation of license; and mandated RAMP training.
If a licensee or employee sells to a visibly intoxicated person or minor:
- He/she could be fined up to $5,000 and/or be imprisoned from 3 months to 1 year. Otherwise, any other person who violates any provision of Article IV of the Liquor Code commits a misdemeanor and could be fined from $100 to $500.
Additionally, persons who sell or furnish alcohol to minors can also be prosecuted criminally under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
- Anyone convicted of willfully and knowingly selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor faces a minimum fine of $1,000 for the first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense, as well as a possible jail term of up to 1 year for each offense.
Dram Shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages.
- Generally, dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties (those not having a relationship to the bar) as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents.
PA Happy Hour/Dram Shop Law Information
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Phone: 113 Northwest Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17124-0001
If you have questions about specific bartending laws in Pennsylvania, you are encouraged to direct your questions to the agency listed above.