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

My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Central Bar is located in El Paso, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted three 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 Central Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Central Bar Between 2018 and 2019


El Paso - 3315 Dyer Street

Allegations:

Law enforcement filed a complaint on 01/09/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).

Upon investigation, authorities were able to determine that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 03/07/2018.

A citizen complaint on 09/18/2018 brought the TABC back to investigate allegations that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and allowed customers to drink alcohol during prohibited hours. The first allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.

The TABC launched an inquiry and uncovered evidence to corroborate the first allegation, which investigators classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified civil penalty, authorities closed the case on 11/02/2018.

A member of the El Paso community reached out to the TABC on 12/17/2019, again claiming that staff was drinking on the job.

While the ensuing investigation failed to find any evidence to corroborate the initial claim, authorities did find evidence that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron. For some reason, authorities decided not to take any action, instead choosing to close the case on 01/15/2020.

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.