Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Chilos Seafood Restaurant? 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.
Chilos Seafood Restaurant is a chain of restaurants located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2020, authorities conducted no fewer than seven 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 Chilos Seafood Restaurant for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Chilos Seafood Restaurant Between 2018 and 2020
Houston - 8334 Gulf Freeway
On 03/29/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to 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 09/07/2019.
South Houston - 1418 Spencer Hwy Suite A
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 11/25/2019, claiming that the restaurant sold alcohol to a drunk customer.
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 01/14/2020.
Houston - 1150 Edgebrook Drive
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 01/31/2018, claiming that the restaurant sold alcohol to a minor, an intoxicated person, and during prohibited hours.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm that the restaurant sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, which they classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 03/20/2018.
A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 09/28/2018, accusing staff of selling alcohol to a drunk customer.
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 2/02/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 03/21/2019, claiming that the restaurant sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. Left with no other option, the TABC decided to conclude its efforts on 05/26/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 05/18/2020, alleging that the restaurant sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
The subsequent investigation failed to find enough evidence for authorities to determine the validity of the claims. Consequently, the TABC chose to end its work on the case on 06/29/2020.
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.