Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Rooster's Orange Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
I have sued more bars for irresponsible alcohol service in the last thirty years than anyone else in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, I can attest to just how widespread the practice of over-serving customers is. 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 the interest of helping the general public see the real extent of this problem, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's record of complaints and posting about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Rooster's Orange Bar is located in Santa Fe, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2020, authorities conducted no fewer than seven investigations into alcohol service practices at Rooster's Orange Bar.
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 contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not evidence that a bar has broken the law. Investigators must have sufficient proof that there was a violation of TABC regulations in order to take legal action. Owing to the nature of liquor law violations, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to obtain. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Rooster's Orange Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Rooster's Orange Bar Between 2016 and 2020
Santa Fe - 6903 Fm 646 South
On 11/18/2016, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen that alleged the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitted a minor to consume alcohol on the premises.
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 01/16/2017.
A staff member reached out to the TABC on 12/19/2016, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
While the investigation that followed was unable to substantiate the initial claim, it did manage to determine that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person. After issuing an administrative violation notice, investigators decided not to hand down any punishment and closed the case on 02/08/2017.
A member of the Santa Fe community contacted the TABC on 04/26/2017, claiming the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated patron, in addition to failing to report a breach of the peace.
The ensuing investigation was only able to prove the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person, which it classified as an administrative violation. For some reason, authorities decided not to hand down any punishment, choosing instead to close the case on 05/13/2017.
On 02/08/2018, a staff member filed a TABC complaint that alleged a breach of the peace occurred.
Investigators were not successful at turning up any proof of wrongdoing and thus could take no action. With no other option available, they decided to close the case on 04/04/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 03/15/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the TABC could not confirm that a violation had taken place. Unable to take any further action, agents shut the case on 05/11/2018.
The next citizen complaint came on 09/25/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
After well over a month of investigation, TABC agents still had not managed to find any evidence to back up the claim. Consequently, they closed the case on 11/02/2018.
A law enforcement complaint, dated 01/14/2020, accused the bar of two counts of selling alcohol to a drunk patron.
Upon investigating, authorities were able to find evidence to support the allegations. After issuing citations for both criminal and administrative violations, TABC agents ended their work on 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.