Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Brewingz? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I have sued more bars for over-serving alcohol than any other lawyer in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, 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.
Brewingz is a chain of sports bars located in and around Houston, Texas. With 23 locations and plans for more in the future, the brand has proved quite popular with locals looking to catch a game at the bar over a plate of wings. While Brewingz' success is beyond question, the same cannot be said about its alcohol service practices. In recent years, the TABC has conducted no fewer than five investigations at various locations due to allegations of liquor law violations. In fact, such activity even landed Brewingz' Rosenberg location in the news back on 01/12/2020. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, staff served roughly a dozen pitchers of beer to a pair of teenagers who later crashed their car into a tree, leaving one of them dead. Though the TABC has not yet published a finished report on the incident, you can be sure that one is forthcoming.
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 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 Brewingz for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Brewingz Locations Between 2015 and 2019
Humble - 9717 Fm 1960 W Bypass
On 03/18/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC alleging that this location allowed an employee under the age of 18 to serve alcohol. TABC agents followed up soon thereafter with an investigation.
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 particular case, authorities chose to end the investigation on 05/15/2015.
Baytown - 6954 Garth Road
A member of the Baytown community contacted TABC on 10/13/2015, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a customer under the age of 21.
The ensuing investigation failed to uncover any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. As a result, on 01/08/2016, the TABC decided to close the case without taking further action.
Kingwood - 25629 Hwy 59
Law enforcement filed a complaint on 10/24/2017, claiming that this location sold alcohol to a minor as well as an intoxicated patron. The TABC subsequently launched an investigation into the matter.
On this occasion, authorities were able to find sufficient evidence to confirm the veracity of both claims, which they classified as criminal violations. The individual responsible for selling alcohol to a minor was convicted in court and received jail time or probation with community service. The other violation was later dismissed, and on 12/21/2017, the case came to an end.
On 10/16/2019, a citizen complaint led the TABC to investigate this location for allegations of permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.
An investigation ensued, but without any video evidence to back up the claim, authorities were unable to take any action. Consequently, on 12/12/2019, they opted to close the investigation.
Cypress - 28320 Hwy 290
A citizen complaint, filed on 03/01/2018, alleged that this location sold alcohol to a minor.
The TABC conducted an investigation into the allegation, but failed to find sufficient evidence to issue a citation. Thus, investigators decided to close the case on 04/04/2018.
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.