Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Club Envy? 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.
Club Envy is located in Harlingen, Texas. As a leading alternative night club in the area, it has attracted a strong local following. However, in the process, it has also attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Over just two years, authorities conducted no fewer than nine investigations into alcohol service practices at Club Envy.
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 Club Envy for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Club Envy Between 2018 and 2019
Harlingen - 1105 S Tamm Lane
On 05/10/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar both sold alcohol to a minor and during prohibited hours, in addition to claiming that staff sold drugs on the premises.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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 06/08/2018.
A member of the Harlingen community reached out to the TABC on 09/07/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, an intoxicated person, and during prohibited hours.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the investigation that followed was unable to determine the veracity of any of the allegations. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 10/31/2018.
Yet another citizen complaint, filed on 11/14/2018, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron and allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises.
The ensuing investigation was not able to prove either of the allegations, and as a result, authorities could not take any action. On 11/14/2018, the TABC decided to close the case.
Once again, the TABC received a citizen complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to a minor and during prohibited hours.
As in all of the previous investigations so far, authorities failed to find any corroborating evidence. Consequently, after well over a month of work, they wrapped up the investigation on 06/04/2019.
On 06/21/2019, a citizen filed a complaint alleging that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Predictably, there was no video evidence to back up the claim, so authorities closed the case on 08/21/2019.
On 10/17/2019, a citizen complaint charged the bar with selling alcohol to a minor and allowing the minor to possess or consume alcohol.
TABC agents could not find any supporting evidence for either of the allegations. Unable to take any action, they shut the case on 11/18/2019.
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.