Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Black Sheep Saloon? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I've worked to hold reckless bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. My experience handling hundreds of cases has opened my eyes to just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. 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 irresponsible bars play in those accidents. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, I make an effort to share my insights in hopes of calling more attention to this issue. One way I do this is by periodically reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Black Sheep Saloon is a bar and night club located in Browndell, Texas. Though it has enjoyed success with locals as well as travelers along Highway 96, it has also attracted the attention of the TABC in recent years due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Over four years, authorities conducted four investigations into alcohol service practices at Black Sheep Saloon.
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 Black Sheep Saloon for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Black Sheep Saloon Between 2015 and 2019
Browndell - 15590 Hwy 96 North
On 11/18/2015, the TABC received a complaint alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it (itself a violation).
Authorities followed up soon thereafter with an investigation and found sufficient proof to issue a citation for an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, TABC agents ended their work on the case on 01/09/2016.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 03/02/2016, alleging again that a breach of the peace occurred and that the bar failed to report it.
This time, authorities did not find any evidence to back up the claim. Even though the source of the complaint was a police officer, the TABC does not consider that sufficient evidence to take action. As a result, on 03/25/2016, authorities closed the case.
The next complaint came on 03/28/2016 from a member of the Browndell community, alleging that the bar allowed a patron to possess an uninvoiced alcoholic beverage.
After well over a month of investigation, authorities failed to find any proof of a criminal or administrative violation. With no other course of action available, TABC agents closed the case on 05/05/2016.
On 06/06/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint, charging the bar with selling alcohol to an inebriated patron.
The ensuing investigation failed to produce any evidence capable of supporting the claim. Consequently, TABC agents could not take any action and the case came to a close on 07/16/2019.
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.