Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sal's Lounge? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Sal's Lounge is an adult entertainment club located in Socorro, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2017, authorities conducted four investigations into alcohol service practices at Sal's Lounge.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Sal's Lounge for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sal's Lounge Between 2015 and 2017
Socorro - 11400 E Gateway Boulevard
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 07/15/2015, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Authorities launched an investigation 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. In this particular instance, it had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 11/19/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 12/31/2015, accusing the bar of selling alcohol during prohibited hours.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to determine the veracity of 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 02/01/2016.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 02/10/2016, claiming that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
Upon investigation, authorities were able to find sufficient evidence to support the claim. After handing down an unspecified penalty for an administrative violation, TABC agents wrapped up their work on the case on 02/23/2016.
The TABC received yet another law enforcement complaint on 01/04/2017. This time, it alleged that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it.
On this occasion, authorities were not successful at proving any wrongdoing occurred. Unable to take any further action, they closed the case on 02/04/2017.
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.