Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Chances? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Chances is a night club located in Cleburne, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the club's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 cause an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, 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 Chances for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Chances Between 2015 and 2019
Cleburne - 3121 N Main Street
A staff member filed a complaint with the TABC on 01/05/2015, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.
The TABC conducted an investigation, but ultimately failed to find any evidence to support to claim. Unable to take any action, investigators decided to close the case on 02/25/2015.
On 08/31/2016, a concerned citizen contacted the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
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 10/12/2016.
The TABC received an anonymous complaint on 04/11/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron.
As mentioned in the previous 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 05/31/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 11/04/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
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 12/13/2018.
On 11/18/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, the allegation was that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The ensuing investigation produced sufficient evidence for TABC agents to confirm the allegation, which they classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, authorities closed the case without further action on 03/13/2020.
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.