Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Float? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Float is a pool and patio bar located in Galveston, Texas. With its waterfront view, a variety of live music and DJs, as well as a swim-up bar, it is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. While the bar's success is beyond question, the TABC has reason to believe its alcohol service practices are not so, due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than nine investigations at Float.
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 Float for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Float Between 2015 and 2019
Galveston - 2828 Seawall
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 04/15/2015 that alleged the bar sold alcohol to a patron under the age of 21.
Authorities looked into the matter, but were unable to find any evidence capable of corroborating the claim. 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 particular instance, agents decided to close the case on 06/13/2015.
On 06/03/2015, a member of the Galveston community reached out to the TABC, claiming that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol and sold alcohol to minor.
The TABC conducted an inquiry, but after nearly two months of work, agents failed to turn up any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. As a result, the case concluded without further action on 07/30/2015.
Another complaint came on 09/16/2015, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a customer under the age of 21 and to a drunk person.
The subsequent investigation was not successful at establishing the veracity of the claims due to a lack of video evidence. On 11/07/2015, investigators brought the case to a close.
On 03/14/2016, another citizen complaint reached the TABC, this time charging the bar with selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
On this occasion, authorities had luck and were able to prove that an administrative violation had taken place. After deciding not to punish the bar for the infraction, TABC agents closed the case on 04/23/2016.
A further citizen complaint, filed on 05/31/2016, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an underage customer as well as to a drunk customer.
The ensuing investigation did not turn up any proof of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, investigators ended their work on the case on 07/24/2016.
On 08/01/2016, the TABC received a complaint alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
After over two months of investigation, TABC agents came up empty-handed. Unable to prove that a violation had taken place, authorities closed the case on 10/11/2016.
On 03/10/2017, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, the allegations were: permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol, serving alcohol to a minor, and selling alcohol to a drunk person.
Even though investigators were able to confirm that the bar had committed an administrative violation by selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, they chose not to hand down any punishment. On 04/20/2017, the investigation came to an end.
The next complaint came on 08/13/2018, with a citizen alleging that the bar served alcohol to an underage customer and an intoxicated person.
Investigators worked on the case for a month and a half, but they could not find any hard proof of wrongdoing. Unable to take any action, authorities closed the case on 09/26/2018.
On 05/30/2019, a citizen complaint alleged again that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities conducted an investigation, but lacking video evidence, they could not corroborate the claim. On 10/16/2019, they decided to close the case without taking 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.