Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Bonham Exchange? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Bonham Exchange is a nightclub located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the TABC's attention on multiple occasions due to complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities 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 Bonham Exchange for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Bonham Exchange Between 2015 and 2019
San Antonio - 411 Bonham
On 05/12/2015, the TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
TABC agents 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, even when the source of the complaint is a police officer. In this particular instance, investigators had neither form of evidence. As a result, they decided to close the case on 06/20/2015.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 08/18/2016, claiming that staff sold alcohol to a drunk customer in addition to selling drugs on the premises.
Authorities conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the allegations. With no other course of action available, they ended their work on the case on 10/06/2016.
The next complaint came from a member of the San Antonio community on 03/13/2019, accusing the bar on selling alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
As mentioned in the previous two investigation summaries, the TABC needs corroborating evidence before it can take action; once again though, agents had none. Consequently, the investigation came to an end on 05/03/2019.
On 10/30/2019, a citizen complaint triggered yet another TABC investigation. This time, the allegation was a breach of the peace (typically a fight), which the bar failed to report (a separate violation in itself).
The investigation that followed was able to turn up sufficient evidence for authorities to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, they closed the case without further action on 02/04/2020.
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.