Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Maxbowl? 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.
Maxbowl is a small chain of bowling alleys, with locations in Baytown, Humble, and Port Arthur, Texas. In addition to bowling, they also offer laser tag, billiards, an arcade, skywalk, and other attractions. While Maxbowl promotes itself as a family-friendly establishment, it has also had its share of encounters with the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2020, authorities conducted four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at the Port Arthur location.
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 Maxbowl for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Maxbowl Between 2017 and 2019
Port Arthur - 3500 Regional Drive
On 03/02/2017, the TABC received a complaint from an unnamed source, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 04/12/2017.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/10/2019, claiming that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
The ensuing investigation found sufficient evidence to support the allegation, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a citation and handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 01/15/2019.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 09/17/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and a drunk patron.
After well over a month of investigation, authorities were unable to find any hard evidence of a violation. With no other course of action available, TABC agents decided to close the case on 10/29/2019.
On 01/15/2020, an unnamed source contacted the TABC and claimed that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
Authorities conducted an inquiry into the matter, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. Unable to take any further action, the TABC shut the case on 02/24/2020.
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.