Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Bubba's 33? 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.
Bubba's 33 is a chain of restaurants with locations across the country, including 11 in Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the chain'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 Bubba's 33 for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Bubba's 33 Between 2019 and 2020
Longview - 200 E Loop 281
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/18/2019, alleging that staff sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
Authorities 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. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 02/20/2019.
Corpus Christi - 1921 S Padre Island Drive
A member of the Corpus Christi community reached out to the TABC on 08/12/2019, claiming that the restaurant sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 10/04/2019.
Pasadena - 3221 E Sam Houston Parkway South
On 03/06/2019, a law enforcement complaint reached the TABC, claiming that they stopped an individual for a D.W.I. on the premises.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 03/27/2019.
San Antonio - 7518 Loop 410 Northwest
Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 04/24/2020, accusing the restaurant of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The subsequent investigation was not able to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing. Left with no other option, the TABC closed the case on 05/27/2020.
Odessa - 6153 Hwy 191 East
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 08/13/2019, claimed that the restaurant sold alcohol to a customer who was already over the limit.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce sufficient evidence of a violation to take any action. Consequently, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 10/08/2019.
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.