Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sweetwater Beverage Club? 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.
Sweetwater Beverage Club is located in Union Valley, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted three separate 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 Sweetwater Beverage Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sweetwater Beverage Club Between 2016 and 2019
Union Valley - 4884 Hwy 276 West
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/05/2016, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and 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 02/27/2016 .
On 11/06/2018, law enforcement filed another complaint, this time alleging that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a responsibility to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most allegations of wrongdoing. Since they had none on this occasion, authorities could not take any further action and instead closed the case on 12/21/2018.
A member of the Union Valley community filed a complaint on 03/29/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but failed to find any evidence to support the allegation. With no other course of action available, they decided to wrap up their work on the case on 05/26/2019.
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.