Considering A Dram Shop Case Against El Rodeo Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
El Rodeo Bar is located in Pharr, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, authorities conducted three 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 El Rodeo Bar for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of El Rodeo Bar Between 2015 and 2016
Pharr - 5826 S Cage
On 02/06/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
The ensuing investigation found evidence to support that a breach occurred and that the bar failed to report it, both of which authorities classified as administrative violations. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 03/31/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 02/17/2015, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
While the subsequent investigation failed to turn up any evidence to support the initial allegation, it did find evidence of public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance - both of which authorities classified as criminal violations - with the latter violation resulting in a conviction and jail time. On 03/11/2015, the TABC concluded its work on the case.
A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 01/20/2016, claiming that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 02/17/2016.
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.