Considering A Dram Shop Claim Against El Mezquite Grill & Sports Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I have sued more bars for over-serving alcohol than any other lawyer in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to 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 increase people's 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.
El Mezquite Grill & Sports Bar is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas, Texas. Locals primarily know it for offering authentic, home-style Mexican food, but the restaurant also boasts a full bar and pool tables. While El Mezquite Grill & Sports Bar has been successful at establishing a steady steam of business, it has also managed to attract a significant amount of attention from the TABC in the process. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted four separate investigations into its alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 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 cause 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 El Mezquite Grill & Sports Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of El Mezquite Grill & Sports Bar Between 2017 and 2019
Dallas - 4628 Maple Avenue
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with TABC on 04/19/2017, alleging three violations: permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol, permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, and selling alcohol during prohibited hours.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but they failed to find any evidence of a violation. For most liquor law violations, TABC needs either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take legal action. Having neither in this particular instance, agents decided to close the case on 06/07/2017.
On 01/24/2018, an unnamed source contacted TABC, claiming that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
The ensuing investigation did not uncover sufficient evidence of wrongdoing for authorities to issue a citation. As a result, the case concluded without further action on 03/15/2018.
TABC received another citizen complaint on 11/26/2018, this time alleging that the bar both sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron and sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
As in the previous investigations, authorities did not have access to video footage of the alleged incidents and were thus unable to establish their veracity. Thus, on 01/23/2019, the investigation came to an end.
On 02/26/2019, TABC received a complaint that alleged the same violations as the previous one: selling alcohol to a patron who was already drunk and selling alcohol during prohibited hours.
An investigation followed, but authorities were once again unable to prove either allegation. With no other course of action available, TABC decided to close the case after five weeks of investigation on 04/05/2019.
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.