Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Big Daddy Zane's? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Big Daddy Zane's is a bar located in Odessa, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it's uncommon for a bar without a history of run-ins with the TABC to end up on the hook for contributing to a wrongful death or injury. Virtually every bar I have ever sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with several recent complaints against them. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of a violation, it doesn't necessarily mean an establishment is innocent, either. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Big Daddy Zane's for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Big Daddy Zane's Between 2018 and 2020
Odessa - 6840 W University Boulevard
On 08/21/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 09/27/2018.
Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 05/04/2020, accusing the bar of miscellaneous violations.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing - even when the source of a complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 05/22/2020.
A member of the Odessa community reached out to the TABC on 04/09/2020, alleging again that miscellaneous violations occurred.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 05/01/2020.
The TABC received a complaint from a staff member on 07/23/2020, claiming that the bar allowed the possession of an un-invoiced alcoholic beverage. While it might seem strange that a staff member would be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
While the ensuing investigation failed to find any evidence to support the initial allegation, authorities did find the bar at fault for refusing an inspection during normal business hours, which they classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 08/04/2020.
Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars
If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.