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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Copz Lounge? 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.

Copz Lounge is located in Harlingen, 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 five 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 Copz Lounge for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Copz Lounge Between 2018 and 2020


Harlingen - 401 Hwy 77S Sunshine Strip, Suite E

Allegations:

A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 02/22/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

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 02/22/2018.

A citizen complaint, filed on 02/22/2018, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the bar possessed distilled spirits without an ID stamp, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 04/11/2018.

The TABC received an anonymous complaint on 05/15/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer.

As mentioned in the first 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 06/08/2018.

Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 06/22/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a minor

The ensuing investigation was able to confirm the allegation, which authorities considered an administrative violation. The TABC ultimately chose to hand down no punishment, deciding instead to close the case on 06/26/2018.

A member of the Harlingen community lodged a complaint with the TABC on 03/27/2020, alleging that the bar permitted customers to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

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 04/28/2020.

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.