Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Club Margaritas? 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.
Club Margaritas is a bar located in Victoria, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted four 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 Club Margaritas for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Club Margaritas Between 2016 and 2019
Victoria - 3711 Port Lavaca Drive
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/26/2016, alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
Upon investigation, TABC agents were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, they closed the case on 10/20/2016.
On 12/01/2016, a second law enforcement complaint alleged that staff was selling drugs on the premises.
Once again, the TABC investigated and found evidence to back up the claim, in addition to other felony charges. The bar received an unspecified punishment for the violations, after which investigators closed the case on 01/31/2017.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 04/03/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
The ensuing investigation failed to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing, leaving authorities unable to take any action. On 05/20/2019, the TABC decided to end its work on the case.
A law enforcement complaint, filed on 06/11/2019, alleged that staff sold drugs on the premises and sold alcohol to a minor.
After well over a month of investigation, authorities still had no evidence to support the claim. With no other course of action available, they decided to wrap up their work on the case on 07/24/2019.
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.