Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Buc's Bar & Grill? 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.
Buc's Bar & Grill is located in Fredericksburg, Texas. With its wide variety of entertainment options, such as live bands, DJs, dancing, poker nights, karaoke, pool and shuffleboard, it has long been popular with locals. The TABC, however, is more familiar with the bar due to a number of recent complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at Buc's Bar & Grill.
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 Buc's Bar & Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Buc's Bar & Grill Between 2015 and 2019
Fredericksburg - 304 N Llano Street
On 04/14/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging various violations. These included a breach of the peace (typically a fight), sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person, and sale of alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities launched an investigation soon 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 06/06/2015.
A member of the Fredericksburg community contacted the TABC on 09/27/2016, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but failed to find any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Unable to take any further action, authorities closed this case on 11/22/2016.
The next citizen complaint, filed on 10/13/2017, alleged that a breach of the peace took place.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators were unable to substantiate the claim. With no further course of action available, TABC agents decided to close the case on 12/10/2017.
On 12/21/2017, a citizen complaint charged that a staff member was drinking on the job and that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person. The second allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to determine when to cut off service is impaired.
After nearly two months of investigation, TABC agents were unable to determine the veracity of the claims. Consequently, they chose to shut this case on 02/20/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 04/10/2019 and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
Investigators followed up with an inquiry, but had no luck finding any proof of wrongdoing. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires video evidence or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. As a result, the investigation concluded on 06/29/2019.
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.