Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Fill'er Up Galveston? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more bad bars for irresponsible alcohol service over the last 30 years than anyone else in Texas. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen firsthand just how widespread the practice of over-serving really is. Too many bars put profit over safety, even though it is their legal responsibility to not let customers drink too much, and this practice adds to the risk of drunk driving accidents. In order to help people understand how frequently this happens, I regularly review the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and report 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.
Fill'er Up Galveston is a bar and night club on Texas' gulf coast. Popular with patrons who come to dance to music from a steady line-up of DJs, the bar also offers games like pool, corn hole, and beer pong. Though Fill'er Up Galveston has managed to establish itself as one of the most popular bars on the island, it has also attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. In just a single year, authorities investigated the bar's alcohol service practices on five separate occasions.
In all my years of practice, rarely have I seen a bar without a prior history of TABC investigations involved in a dram shop case. Almost every bar I have sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention when I see a bar with several recent complaints against it. The more a bar has been investigated, the more I become concerned that it might one day end up contributing to 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 Fill'er Up Galveston for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Fill'er Up Galveston in 2019
Galveston - 2416 Post Office Street
On 01/04/2019, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen who alleged that the bar sold alcohol both to a minor and during prohibited hours. Additionally, the source claimed a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation into these claims. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video evidence of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take legal action. In this particular instance, it had neither. With no other option available, investigators closed the case on 03/22/2019.
The next complaint came from a member of the Galveston community on 01/07/2019, and claimed that the bar employed someone under the age on 18 to sell alcohol.
As mentioned in the summary of the previous investigation, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to determine the veracity of such allegations. Having found no such proof in the course of their inquiry, agents could not take any action. As a result, the case came to a close on 03/07/2019.
A citizen complaint, placed on 04/17/2019, charged the bar with both serving alcohol to a patron under the age of 21 and permitting staff to possess or sell drugs on the premises.
The ensuing investigation was unable to establish the validity of the accusations due to a lack of video evidence. After more than three months of work, authorities shut this case on 08/04/2019 without taking any action.
Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 08/05/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace took place. The source also claimed staff were drinking on the job and permitted the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.
Though authorities looked into the matter, they were not successful at proving whether or not any wrongdoing had occurred. On 09/10/2019, TABC agents decided to end their work on the case.
On 08/20/2019, a member of staff contacted the TABC and alleged that a breach of the peace took place. While it might seem strange for an employee to be the source of the complaint, staff is in fact legally obligated to report any TABC violations it sees on the job.
The investigation into the matter did not even last 24 hours, after which point authorities chose to close the case without taking any further action.
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.