Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Chimy's Cerveceria? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars consistently fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to stop serving patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Chimy's Cerveceria is a chain of restaurants in Texas. Since its founding in 2002, it has grown to include locations in Fort Worth, College Station, San Marcos, and Lubbock. While it has established a strong following, it has also managed to attract the attention of the TABC in recent years, due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted a combined total of seven investigations into alcohol service practices at Chimy's Cerveceria.
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 Chimy's Cerveceria for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Chimy's Cerveceria Between 2017 and 2019
Fort Worth - 1053 Foch Street
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 01/25/2017, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and that staff was intoxicated.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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 particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 03/06/2017.
College Station - 203 University Drive
Law enforcement filed a TABC complaint on 10/24/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person. Additionally, the complaint alleged that staff was intoxicated on the job.
As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to determine the veracity of most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities did not find any such evidence in the course of the investigation, they could not confirm a violation had taken place and could thus take no action. Consequently, they closed the case on 11/21/2017.
A second law enforcement complaint, filed on 06/04/2019, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not establish whether or not any wrongdoing took place. As a result, they chose to wrap up their work on the case on 08/01/2019.
San Marcos - 217 E Hopkins Street
A law enforcement complaint, filed on 04/23/2019, charged the bar with selling alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
TABC agents conducted an investigation into the matter, but they could not locate any hard evidence of a violation. Consequently, they ended their work on the case on 06/05/2019.
On 07/23/2019, a member of the San Marcos community reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
The ensuing investigation was not able to find any proof of wrongdoing, which led the TABC to conclude its efforts on the case on 07/23/2019.
The next complaint came from law enforcement on 09/17/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
The subsequent investigation found sufficient evidence to support the claim that the bar sold alcohol to a minor. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 10/15/2019.
A citizen complaint, dated 12/02/2019, alleged that staff was intoxicated and served alcohol to both an underage patron and a drunk patron.
After two months of investigation, authorities still had not found sufficient evidence to prove that either an administrative or criminal violation occurred. With no other course of action available, they shut the case on 02/04/2020.
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.