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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Burnhouse? Here's What You Need To Know

I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.

Burnhouse is a nightclub located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted six investigations into the club's alcohol service violations.

In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Burnhouse for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Burnhouse Between 2017 and 2019


San Antonio - 4553 Loop 1604 Northwest Suite 1229

Allegations:

On 12/12/2017, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor as well as 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. In this investigation, authorities had neither, leading to their decision to close the case on 01/26/2018.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 04/19/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both an underage patron and a drunk patron.

Upon investigating, authorities found evidence to corroborate the first claim. After issuing citations for three separate violations and handing down an unspecified penalty, TABC agents closed the case on 06/05/2018.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 07/10/2018, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.

Authorities investigated, but they failed to find any evidence to support the initial claim. However, they did manage to find proof of other violations, including seven counts of misrepresentation of age by a minor, a false or altered ID, and other misdemeanor offenses. After issuing several warning citations, authorities closed the case on 09/12/2018.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 12/19/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace took place and the bar failed to report it.

After nearly two months of investigation, the TABC found enough evidence to prove the bar failed to report the breach of the peace. For some reason, authorities decided not to hand down any punishment, subsequently ending the investigation on 02/15/2020.

A second law enforcement complaint on 08/27/2019 led authorities back to investigate multiple alleged violations, including: permitting a minor to consume alcohol, selling alcohol to both a minor and a drunk customer, and lewd acts.

The ensuing investigation was not successful at uncovering any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. As a result, authorities could not take any action and thus decided to close the case on 10/26/2019.

A citizen complaint, filed on 02/19/2019, accused the bar of selling alcohol to a patron under the age of 21.

TABC agents launched an inquiry into claim and found evidence to prove two counts of minors misrepresenting their age. After issuing two warning citations, investigators closed the case on 05/11/2019.

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.