Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sodalak's Grocery? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. 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 order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Sodalak's Grocery is located in Bryan, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2018, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the store's alcohol sales 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 Sodalak's Grocery for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sodalak's Grocery Between 2016 and 2018
Bryan - 311 San Jacinto
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/18/2016, alleging that the store allowed customers to consume alcohol on the premises.
Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the store sold alcohol in an open container, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 09/09/2016.
A member of the Bryan community reached out to the TABC on 04/10/2018, alleging that staff possessed or sold drugs and allowed customers to drink beer 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 04/27/2018.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 07/18/2018, claiming that the store allowed customers to drink beer on the premises.
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 08/27/2018.
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.