Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Rockin' P Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to increase people's awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Rockin' P Bar is located in Stephenville, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
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 Rockin' P Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Rockin' P Bar Between 2018 and 2019
Stephenville - 133 W Washington St
On 02/23/2018, an anonymous complaint to the TABC alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
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 03/30/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/09/2018, alleging that assaultive offenses took place at the bar.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing, even when the source of a complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 09/21/2018.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 01/24/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
Upon investigation, TABC agents were able to determine that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 01/25/2019.
On 01/30/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace occurred and that the bar failed to report it (a separate violation in itself).
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. Consequently, they could not take any further action and subsequently ended their work on 02/26/2019.
A member of the Stephenville community reached out to the TABC on 03/05/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
The investigation that followed was not successful at turning up any proof of wrongdoing. As a result, authorities could not take any action and were left with no choice but to close the case, which they did on 04/21/2019.
The next citizen complaint came on 10/29/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer.
After looking into the matter for well over two months, authorities still had not managed to uncover any proof of wrongdoing. Consequently, they chose to end their work without further action on 01/15/2020.
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.