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Court of Appeals to consider first dram case in decades

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s highest court is hearing arguments on whether or not a bar or restaurant can be held legally responsible for the actions of its inebriated customers.

The Maryland Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a drunk-driving case where a patron consumed more than a dozen alcoholic beverages, left the bar and caused a car accident that killed a 10-year-old girl.

Maryland is one of a few states that doesn’t hold bars and restaurants responsible for the actions of customers who become drunk. A ruling in favor of the victim’s family could change the law, but many restaurant owners argue that patrons should be held responsible for their own behavior.

This is the first time in 40 years Maryland’s highest court has heard arguments about the issue.