The New International Encyclopædia/Civil-Damage Acts

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The New International Encyclopædia
Civil-Damage Acts
Edition of 1905. See also Wikisource's law portal, and the disclaimer.

CIVIL-DAMAGE ACTS. Statutes which have been passed in many of the United States, giving to those who sustain an actual injury by or through any intoxicated person, as a result of the intoxication, a right of action against the person who sold or gave away the liquor which caused the intoxication. In some States, this liability has been extended to the owner of the premises where the liquor was dispensed; and it is immaterial whether the liquor business is lawful in the particular jurisdiction or not. These statutes include injuries to person or property of any one, and loss of support, by wife or child, of a drunkard. Exemplary or punitive damages are allowed in some cases, but actual injury must also be proved. Where one in any way helps to bring about the intoxication, he cannot recover.

These statutes have been held constitutional, being within the ‘police power’ of the States under which the liquor traffic is regulated. See Temperance; Police Power; Prohibition.