Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Club Vibe? 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 Vibe is a nightclub and bar located in Laredo, Texas. Though it has established itself as one of the premier dance venues in Laredo, it has also managed to attract a substantial amount of attention from the TABC in recent years due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into alcohol service practices at Club Vibe.
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 Vibe for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Club Vibe Between 2017 and 2019
Laredo - 6408 Crescent Loop Suite 4B And 5B
On 08/16/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC alleging that the bar served alcohol to a minor.
Authorities followed up soon thereafter 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 11/07/2017.
A citizen complaint, placed on 12/21/2017, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a patron under the age of 21.
The ensuing investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the claim. However, authorities did turn up evidence of other offenses, for which they issued citations. After handing down unspecified penalties for administrative violations, TABC agents closed this case on 02/22/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/19/2018, charging the bar with selling alcohol to a minor and failing to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
As mentioned previously, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to determine the veracity of most allegations of wrongdoing. Since it did not locate any video footage of the incident in the course of the investigation, it was not able to take any action. As a result, the case concluded on 10/30/2018.
Another law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 11/06/2018, accusing the bar of a litany of offenses. These included selling alcohol to a minor, a breach of the peace, permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, allowing employees to sell drugs, selling alcohol to a drunk customer, and selling alcohol during prohibited hours.
With the TABC's standards of proof being as strict as they are, not even a police officer's word is considered sufficient evidence to issue a citation. Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators were unable to substantiate the claims. Unable to take any action, authorities closed the case on 03/04/2019.
On 04/16/2019, law enforcement lodged a complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
While the investigation did not turn up any evidence to back up the allegation, it did discover other infractions. After issuing citations and handing down an unspecified penalty, TABC agents ended their work on the case on 05/21/2019.
A further complaint from law enforcement brought the TABC back to investigate on 10/29/2019. Once again, the allegation was for selling alcohol to a minor.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry into the claim and were able to prove its validity. After issuing two citations - but without any mention of punishment - authorities wrapped up the investigation on 12/10/2019.
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.