Considering A Dram Shop Claim Against Bogart's Cocktails? 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.
Bogart's Cocktails is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. Offering DJ sets, cheap drink specials, and pool tables, it is a popular hangout for many San Antonio locals. However, during the last few years, the TABC has also been a frequent visitor due to complaints alleging the bar violated state liquor laws. Between 2016 and 2019, agents conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at Bogart's Cocktails.
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 Bogart's Cocktails for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Bogart's Cocktails Between 2016 and 2019
San Antonio - 8323 Culebra Road Suite 106
On 11/30/2016, TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen who alleged that staff was drinking on the job, serving alcohol during prohibited hours, and selling drugs on the premises.
TABC agents followed up soon after with an investigation, however, they failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing. Without video evidence or eyewitness testimony of a violation, it is virtually impossible for TABC to take legal action. With no other course of action available, agents decided to end their efforts on this case on 01/01/2017.
A couple of months later, on 03/08/2017, the TABC was back after a member of the San Antonio community filed a complaint alleging that four violations occurred: a breach of the peace (typically a fight), failure to report a breach of the peace, permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, and staff drinking on the job. The last complaint is more serious than it might seem on the surface. Staff have a legal obligation to stop serving customers who become dangerously intoxicated, but if they are drinking on the job, their ability to perform this essential function is compromised.
After a month-long investigation, authorities were not able to produce any proof of a criminal or administrative violation. On 04/08/2017, the inquiry came to an end.
A citizen complaint, filed on 05/29/2018, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and to a customer who was already over the limit.
The ensuing investigation could not locate any proof to back up the claims. As a result, on 06/24/2018, the case came to a close.
The next complaint came on 10/16/2019, when a citizen reached out to the TABC and claimed bar staff was drinking on the job.
Authorities looked into the matter, but they could not uncover any evidence of wrongdoing. Unable to take any action, TABC shut this case on 12/13/2019.
On 10/29/2019, yet another citizen complaint to TABC charged the bar with selling alcohol to a patron under the age of 21 and permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.
As in all of the previous cases, authorities had no video evidence to corroborate the claims. Thus, they were left with no choice but to end their inquiry, which they did on 12/13/2019.
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.