Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Dirty D's Tavern? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While the general public might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Dirty D's Tavern is a sports bar located in Baytown, Texas. Its no-frills style and low prices make it a favorite spot for locals looking to watch a game over a beer. However, even the simplest bars can run into complications if they aren't careful. Over just a three year period, TABC investigated Dirty D's on six occasions after receiving complaints alleging liquor law violations.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, 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 Dirty D's Tavern for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Dirty D's Tavern Between 2016 and 2019
Baytown - 2717 N Alexander
On 04/22/2016, law enforcement placed a complaint with TABC, claiming two violations occurred: permitting the possession of drugs on the premises and selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
TABC agents looked into the claims and found sufficient evidence to prove that the bar served alcohol to a customer who was already drunk. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 05/24/2016.
The second complaint against this bar came on 09/09/2016. This time, law enforcement alleged four separate violations: selling alcohol to a minor, permitting staff to sell drugs, selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer, and allowing consumption during prohibited hours.
The ensuing investigation found that the bar had once again sold alcohol to an inebriated patron, but this time the authorities handed down no penalty. Authorities subsequently ended their work on the case on 10/28/2016.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 07/02/2018, alleging that staff sold alcohol to a drunk customer and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
For the third time in a row, authorities were able to establish that the bar provided alcohol to an intoxicated person. However, this time the violation was dismissed by a supervising agent, after which the case concluded on 10/13/2018.
On 01/25/2019, a member of the Baytown community claimed that the bar committed two violations: selling alcohol to a drunk patron and serving alcohol during prohibited hours.
After two months of searching, investigators were unable to establish the veracity of the claims. With no further course of action available, they decided to end their work on the case on 04/07/2019.
A citizen complaint on 04/09/2019 charged the bar with selling alcohol to a minor and selling alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities investigated but found insufficient evidence to take any action. As a result, the case concluded the very next day.
TABC received a complaint on 06/07/2019 from a citizen who alleged that the bar had committed three violations: selling alcohol to a minor, permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, and selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Once again, TABC agents looked into the matter but could not find enough proof of wrongdoing take further steps against the bar. In most cases, agents need to have video evidence of a violation in order to take legal action. Having none in this particular instance, they decided to close the case on 10/25/2019.
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.