Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Cooter Brown's Saloon? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Cooter Brown's Saloon is located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to numerous allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted eight separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Cooter Brown's Saloon for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Cooter Brown's Saloon Between 2015 and 2019
San Antonio - 11881 Bandera Road Suite 101
The TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen on 03/01/2016, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities launched an inquiry soon 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. Since agents had neither in this investigation, they decided to close the case on 03/19/2016.
On 10/12/2016, a citizen complaint triggered an investigation into whether the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
As stated in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Having no such evidence in this investigation, authorities closed the case on 11/04/2016.
A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 10/09/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not corroborate the claim. As a result, they closed the case without further action on 11/17/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/23/2019, claiming that the bar again sold alcohol to a drunk patron.
As in the last investigation, authorities had no corroborating evidence, which the TABC needs even when the source of the complaint is a police officer. With no other course of action available, they closed the case on 03/24/2019.
A citizen complaint, filed on 04/24/2019, claimed that the bar sold alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but they were not able to substantiate the allegation. On 05/31/2019, the case came to a close.
On 08/28/2019, a citizen complaint alleged a breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it.
Upon investigating, authorities found evidence to support the allegation that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, investigators closed the case on 10/03/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 10/08/2019, accusing staff of drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to customers who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
The investigation that followed did not produce any evidence capable of backing up the claim, leading authorities to close the case on 12/06/2019.
A citizen complaint on 12/10/2019 brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, the allegation was that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron.
After nearly two months of investigation, authorities failed to turn up any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. On 02/01/2020, the case came to an end.
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.