Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Frat House? 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.
Frat House is a social club located in McAllen, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the club'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 Frat House for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Frat House Between 2018 and 2019
McAllen - 214 S 17th Street
On 02/22/2018, a concerned citizen contacted the TABC, alleging that the club permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
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 04/06/2018.
An anonymous complaint reached the TABC on 06/01/2018, claiming that the club permitted customers to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.
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 06/23/2018.
The TABC received a complaint from a staff member on 01/18/2019, alleging that the club allowed a minor to both purchase and possess or consume alcohol.
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 02/26/2019.
A member of the McAllen community reached out to the TABC on 06/21/2019, alleging that the club sold alcohol to a minor.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. Left with no other option, the TABC closed the case on 09/13/2019.
The next citizen complaint to reach the TABC came on 12/20/2019, claiming once again that the club sold alcohol to a minor.
Investigators looked into the claim, but as is so often the case, they were unable to find any corroborating evidence. Consequently, the TABC decided to wrap up its work on the case on 03/24/2020.
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.