What You Need to Know If You Are Thinking of a Dram Shop Case against The Brass Tap
During my more than three decades of legal practice, I have sued hundreds of bad bars for the part they played in accidents that resulted in a wrongful death or injury. When you've seen as many cases involving bars that over-served alcohol as I have, the scope of the issue is painfully clear. Part of my mission is to increase the public's awareness of the subject. To do this, I spend a portion of my time investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and are interested in learning about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
The Brass Tap is a craft beer pub franchise that began in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Started in 2008, it has grown tremendously since its founding, with 47 locations in 16 states doing an average of $1.8 million in sales each (based on figures from 2017). The Brass Tap is well-known for the dozens of beers available at each location, with some having up to 80 varieties.
Virtually every bar I have ever sued for alcohol service violations had already come to the TABC's attention at one point or another before their recklessness led to a wrongful death or serious injury. Nobody should overlook a record of complaints alleging such violations, because it might just point to a future tragedy down the line.
Between 2018 and 2019, TABC investigated The Brass Tap for allegedly violating Texas liquor laws on ten separate occasions.
Before I proceed to the complaint records, I want to make one thing clear: just because an investigation occurred, it does not mean the bar in question violated any laws. When authorities carry out an investigation, it only means they think the evidence deserves a closer look. However, no bar should be presumed to have broken the law until convicted in court. By the same token, if authorities investigate a bar but close the case without taking action, it could indicate either innocence or simply insufficient evidence for a conviction. What follows is a list of recent TABC inquiries into The Brass Tap.
The Brass Tap Locations Investigated by TABC between 2018 and 2019
Austin - 10910 Domain Drive Building W Suite 120
This location alone is responsible for three of the ten complaints on file with TABC against The Brass Tap.
The earliest one is a citizen complaint dating back to 04/27/2018. It alleges that staff sold an alcoholic beverage to to an intoxicated patron.
The TABC followed up with an investigation, but could not find any evidence of wrongdoing. On 06/19/2018, the case concluded.
Second on the list of complaints at this location is one from 01/08/2019. A citizen claimed to see yet another instance of staff selling alcohol to someone who was already over the limit.
After a five-week investigation, TABC uncovered nothing it could use in court, so it ended its efforts on 02/16/2019.
The third complaint was not due to alcohol sales, but rather was due to this location allegedly permitting the sale or possession of drugs on the premises. A concerned citizen filed this complaint on 08/15/2019, with TABC investigating the matter soon after.
The case concluded on 10/02/2019, after TABC failed to find any evidence capable of corroborating the charge.
Prosper - 790 N Preston Road Suite 80
On 07/02/2019, a law enforcement officer reported a complaint, claiming that an intoxicated person purchased alcohol at this location.
TABC's investigation lasted a month, but ended without further action on 08/06/2019. The burden of proof for such alleged violations is very high, and not even a cop's testimony is sufficient evidence for a court conviction.
Another complaint against this location, dated 10/15/2019, appears in TABC's records. Once again, a concerned citizen claimed that staff had sold an alcoholic beverage to someone who was over the limit.
It should come as no surprise that this case concluded with the TABC lacking hard evidence. On 11/27/2019, the investigation ended.
Highland Village - 4151 Waller Creek Suite Q130
On 08/14/2019, a law enforcement agent filed a complaint with TABC claiming that staff had sold alcohol to a drunk person.
The ensuing investigation lasted until 10/15/2019, with authorities coming up empty-handed in their search for evidence that could prove an administrative or criminal violation.
A further complaint against this location dated 12/17/2019 alleged that two violations occurred that day. The first allegation claimed that a staff member was intoxicated, while the second claimed that staff allowed a patron to take an alcoholic beverage from the premises.
TABC's investigation into this complaint was about average in length - one month - after which authorities ended on 1/06/2020 their efforts due to insufficient evidence to prove wrongdoing.
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.