Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Aura? 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.
Aura is a bar located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on numerous occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, 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 Aura for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Aura Between 2018 and 2019
Houston - 4701 Nett Street
On 01/23/2018, 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 01/23/2018.
A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 02/27/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
As mentioned in the previous complaint summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most allegations of wrongdoing. Since they had none in this investigation, they were unable to take any action, resulting in their decision to close the case on 04/28/2019.
Yet another citizen complaint came on 05/07/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
The ensuing investigation lasted over three months, but ultimately failed to produce any evidence to back up the claims. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 08/18/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 12/04/2019 that accused the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
Authorities conducted an inquiry into the claim, but due to a lack of video evidence, they were unable to determine its veracity. Left with no alternative, they concluded their efforts on 01/08/2020.
On 05/31/2016, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate the bar once again for an allegation of selling alcohol to a drunk customer.
As in all of the previous investigations, authorities could not establish the validity of the claim because they had no video footage of the incident. Consequently, the case came to a close without further action on 06/30/2016.
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.