Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Martini Ranch? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Martini Ranch is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted four investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Martini Ranch for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Martini Ranch Between 2015 and 2019
San Antonio - 4904 W Ave
On 01/15/2015, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen, alleging 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 symptoms of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
Authorities launched an inquiry 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 end their efforts on 02/21/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 06/21/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but were unable to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, investigators closed the case on 07/14/2018.
A citizen complaint, filed on 02/19/2019, alleged that staff was drinking on the job, in addition to selling alcohol to both a minor and a drunk customer.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of the claims. As a result, they could take no action and thus opted to close the case on 03/12/2019.
On 05/08/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once more. This time, the complaint alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron.
As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Having no such evidence for this case, authorities decided to wrap up their work on 06/26/2019.
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.