Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Dorado's? 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.
Dorado's is a bar located in Surfside Beach, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the TABC's attention due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted two 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 Dorado's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Dorado's Between 2018 and 2019
Surfside Beach - 135 Shark Lane Suite B
The TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen on 11/13/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to a minor. The first allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to customers who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. When staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to make judgements about when to stop serving is impaired.
Authorities conducted an investigation and found evidence to support the allegation, which resulted in a conviction and jail time for the bartender. On 01/12/2019, investigators closed the case.
Exactly one year to the day from when the last investigation began, the TABC received another citizen complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to an underage customer.
The ensuing investigation was successful at proving the claim, which authorities classified as both a criminal and administrative violation. For some reason though, they decided not to press charges, instead choosing to close the case without further action on 12/09/2019.
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.