Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Spice Rack Bar & Grill? 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.
Spice Rack Bar & Grill is located in Burleson, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to several allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
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 Spice Rack Bar & Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Spice Rack Bar & Grill Between 2015 and 2019
Burleson - 133 S Wilson Street
On 04/27/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
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 06/26/2015.
A member of the Burleson community reached out to the TABC on 10/28/2015, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and a drunk person.
Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, which they classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. In addition, the report summary states that the patron was cited for public intoxication and resisting arrest. For some reason, the TABC did not hand down any punishment for the violations, instead choosing to close the case without further action on 12/15/2015.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 12/09/2016, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a minor.
As mentioned in the first 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 01/20/2017.
On 01/03/2019, another citizen complaint reached the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
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 02/20/2019.
Law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC on 12/14/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
The ensuing investigation was able to confirm that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron, which the TABC classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. Additionally, authorities found evidence that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. Ultimately, investigators decided not to hand down any punishment and wrapped up their work on the case on 02/01/2020.
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.