Considering A Dram Shop Case Against LMR's Bar & Billiards? Here's What You Need To Know
I have been holding bad bars accountable for over-serving alcohol for the last 30 years. With hundreds of cases under my belt, I have seen over and over just how rampant this practice really is. While the public might hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't hear much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. With the goal of calling more attention to this issue, I spend some of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
LMR's Bar & Billiards is located in Port Lavaca, Texas. In recent years, it has managed to attract a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2020, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is uncommon for a bar that has no previous history of TABC investigations to end up involved in a dram shop case. Almost every bar I've sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with multiple recent complaints on record. The more investigations a bar has had, the more concerned I become that it could one day play a part in a wrongful death or injury.
I want to emphasize that an investigation does not mean a bar did anything illegal. At the same time, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of wrongdoing, it does not mean that a bar is necessarily innocent, either. Given the nature of liquor law violations, it can be difficult for authorities to uncover the evidence necessary for a conviction. What follows is simply a list of complaints against LMR's Bar & Billiards obtained from TABC's database.
TABC Investigations of LMR's Bar & Billiards Between 2018 and 2020
Port Lavaca - 224 N Commerce Street
On 10/17/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 before taking action. Having neither in this investigation, agents closed the case on 12/01/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/03/2019, alleging the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.
Even when a police officer is the source of a complaint, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before it can take action. Since this investigation was not successful at turning up any evidence of a violation, authorities closed the case on 02/02/2019.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 05/02/2019, alleging that the bar served alcohol to an intoxicated person and failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
The ensuing investigation failed to uncover any hard evidence of wrongdoing. As a result, authorities could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/17/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 08/14/2019, brought the TABC back to investigate a failure to report a breach of the peace.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of the claim. With no other course of action available, they decided to close the case on 09/29/2019.
A member of the Port Lavaca community reached out to the TABC on 10/16/2019, claiming staff sold drugs on the premises, sold alcohol to a drunk patron, and that a breach of the peace occurred.
As in the previous investigation, a lack of video evidence left investigators unable to confirm the validity of the claims. Consequently, they had no choice but to close the case on 12/06/2019.
On 01/06/2020, a law enforcement complaint alleged that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar neglected to report it.
This time, the investigation was able to substantiate both claims, which the TABC classified as administrative violations. For some reason, authorities decided not to hand down any punishment, instead choosing to close the case on 02/22/2020.
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.