Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Lala's Mexican Restaurant? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Lala's Mexican Restaurant is located in Sonora, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on a number of occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted three investigations into the restaurant's alcohol service practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Lala's Mexican Restaurant for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Lala's Mexican Restaurant Between 2018 and 2019
Sonora - 207 Glasscock Avenue
On 10/27/2018, the TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
The TABC looked into the matter and found sufficient evidence to back up the allegation, which it classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified civil penalty, authorities closed the case on 12/16/2018.
A staff member filed a complaint on 11/30/2018, alleging that the bar allowed the possession of an unauthorized alcoholic beverage on the premises. While it might seem strange that a staff member would be the source of a TABC complaint, employees are in fact required to report any violations they see in the workplace.
Upon investigating, authorities were able to determine that the bar had committed an administrative violation, for which it issued a written warning. On 01/30/2019, the case came to a close.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/04/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace occurred and that the bar failed to report it.
The ensuing investigation found enough evidence to substantiate both claims. After handing down an unspecified penalty for each offense, TABC agents wrapped up their work on the case on 03/05/2019.
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.