Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Brewskis Ice House? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to increase people's awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Brewskis Ice House is located in Friendswood, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2020, 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 Brewskis Ice House for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Brewskis Ice House Between 2017 and 2020
Friendswood - 19437 Hwy 35
On 04/26/2017, a staff member contacted the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. While it might seem strange for a staff member to be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
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 06/06/2017.
A second staff complaint reached the TABC on 01/13/2018, claiming that a breach of the peace took place.
The ensuing investigation found sufficient evidence to confirm that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC closed the case on 02/17/2018.
A member of the Friendswood community reached out to the TABC on 03/01/2018, alleging that the bar allowed customers to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.
As mentioned in the first investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 04/17/2018.
On 02/13/2020, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the bar permitted customers to consume alcohol during prohibited hours and that a breach of the peace 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 03/11/2020.
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.