Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Players? 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.
Players is a bar located in Porter, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020, authorities conducted four separate 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 Players for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Players Between 2019 and 2020
Porter - 24022 Loop 494 'D'
On 01/17/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person, in addition to permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.
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 03/09/2019.
A staff member contacted the TABC on 07/23/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. While it might seem strange that a staff member would be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
As mentioned in the previous 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 11/05/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 08/29/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 09/26/2019.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/15/2020, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to determine the veracity of the claim due to a lack of corroborating evidence. Left with no other option, authorities concluded their efforts on 02/29/2020.
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.