Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Nites Out? 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.
Nites Out is a nightclub located in Plainview, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2020, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the club'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 Nites Out for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Nites Out Between 2015 and 2020
Plainview - 3600 Olton Road
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 02/24/2015, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and 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 in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 03/10/2015.
On 03/09/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, claiming that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.
Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 04/01/2015.
A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 03/06/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a customer who was already over the limit.
As mentioned in the first 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 04/16/2018.
A member of the Plainview community reached out to the TABC on 01/29/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitted staff to sell drugs on the premises.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 04/04/2019.
Law enforcement got in touch with the TABC once again on 01/14/2020, alleging that a breach of the peace took place.
Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking action. Since investigators had none on this occasion, they were left with no choice but to close the case, which they did on 02/26/2020.
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.