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.
Big Tyme Billiards is a pool hall located in Spring, Texas. With a full bar, 30 pool tables, a dozen TVs, and 7,000 square feet of space, it's not hard to understand why it was rated the number one pool hall in Texas. In addition to the attention it has attracted for the quality of its facilities, Big Tyme Billiards has also managed to attract the attention of the TABC in recent years for allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, agents conducted four 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 Big Tyme Billiards for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Big Tyme Billiards Between 2015 and 2019
Spring - 100 Cypresswood Drive 'G'
On 05/26/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with TABC, alleging the following violations: selling alcohol to a minor, serving alcohol during prohibited hours, permitting the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours, and allowing gambling on the premises.
TABC looked into the matter, but after six weeks of investigation, it failed to turn up any evidence. For most liquor law violations, TABC requires either video footage of an incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents before it can take action. Having neither in this particular instance, authorities concluded their work on 07/13/2015.
A member of the Spring community lodged a complaint on 09/25/2017 that claimed the bar permitted possession of drugs on the premises, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and permitted gambling on the premises.
The ensuing investigation did not uncover any evidence of a violation. As a result, this case came to a close without further action on 11/04/2017.
A citizen complaint, filed on 03/12/2018, alleged that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
TABC agents launched an investigation, but they were unable to establish the veracity of the claim. Without any other course of action available, they decided to close the case on 04/28/2018.
On 05/02/2019, TABC received a complaint from a citizen who alleged that the bar permitted the possession of drugs on the premises and sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
After nearly two months of investigation, authorities could not find sufficient evidence of a violation to issue a citation. As a result, the case came to an end on 06/29/2019.
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.