Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Byopizza? Here's What You Need To Know
I've held more bars accountable for irresponsible alcohol service practices than any other lawyer in Texas. The hundreds of cases I've handled over the last 30 years have shown me just how many bars regularly over-serve their patrons, not to mention the tragic consequences that often result. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is less common to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate part 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 might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Byopizza is a restaurant and bar located in Seminole, Texas. In recent years, it has been the subject of the TABC's attention on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Byopizza.
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 contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not evidence that a bar has broken the law. Investigators must have sufficient proof that there was a violation of TABC regulations in order to take legal action. Owing to the nature of liquor law violations, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to obtain. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Byopizza for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Byopizza Between 2016 and 2019
Seminole - 1100 S Main Street
Law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC on 04/19/2016, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred, and that the bar failed to report it (a violation in itself).
The TABC launched an investigation and succeeded in locating sufficient evidence to back up the claim that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. After issuing a written warning for an administrative violation, agents closed the case on 05/23/2016.
On 05/27/2016, law enforcement reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence for any claim of wrongdoing. In this investigation, authorities had no such proof and as a result, they could not take any action. On 07/25/2016, investigators closed the case.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 12/04/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and permitted consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but failed to turn up any evidence of wrongdoing. Unable to take any further action, they decided to close the case on 02/06/2019.
Law enforcement filed yet another complaint on 04/02/2019, alleging that the bar served and permitted an underage patron to consume alcohol, in addition to serving alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
After nearly two months of investigation, authorities found enough evidence to corroborate the claim that the bar sold alcohol to a minor. For some reason, the TABC decided not to hand down any punishment for the violation, subsequently closing the case on 05/23/2019.
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.