Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Ranch? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been holding bad bars accountable for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. With hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen over and over just how common this practice is, as well as the terrible tragedies that often follow in its wake. The general public knows that drunk drivers are a threat to everyone's safety, but it doesn't hear much about the bars that routinely over-serve their customers, or the role those bars play in drunk driving accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this issue, I regularly research the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and report 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.
The Ranch is a popular bar located in Austin, Texas. Consisting of two floors, plus outdoor patios, it packs in large crowds who come for the DJ sets and dancing on Fridays and Saturday nights. While it might enjoy a good reputation with locals, its reputation with the TABC hasn't been perfect. Over just a two-year period, The Ranch had two investigations into alleged liquor law violations.
In my experience, it is very rare for a bar that has no previous history of TABC investigations to end up involved in a dram shop case. Almost every bar I've sued was already on the authorities' radar. The more investigations a bar has had, the more concerned I become that it could one day play a part in a wrongful death or injury.
I would like to point out that an investigation does not mean a bar did anything illegal. At the same time, if authorities investigate and determine that an establishment is not in violation of TABC code, that does not mean that the alleged violation did not take place. Given the nature of liquor law violations, it can be difficult to uncover the evidence necessary for a conviction. What follows is simply a list of complaints against The Ranch obtained from TABC's database.
TABC Investigations of The Ranch
Austin - 710 W 6th Street 'A'
On 07/22/2015, law enforcement lodged a complaint with TABC alleging that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit. TABC subsequently investigated.
In the three months of inquiry that followed, authorities could not produce any evidence to corroborate this claim. A cop's word is not sufficient proof; practically the only thing capable of securing a conviction is video evidence. Unable to take any further action, TABC concluded its investigation on 10/23/2015.
The next complaint came on 10/24/2016, with a concerned citizen alleging that a staff member was drinking on the job.
Staff have a legal responsibility to prevent patrons from getting too drunk, but being intoxicated impairs their ability to do so. Thus, this is a more serious allegation than it might seem at first glance.
The investigation into this claim did not last long; within 24 hours, authorities closed the case due to insufficient evidence.
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.