Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Harper's? Here's What You Need To Know
I have sued more bars for irresponsible alcohol service in the last thirty years than anyone else in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, I can attest to just how widespread the practice of over-serving customers is. 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 the interest of helping the general public see the real extent of this problem, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's record of complaints and posting about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Harper's is a pub and pizzeria located in San Marcos, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted three separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Harper's.
In my experience, it's uncommon for a bar without a history of TABC investigations to end up on the hook for a wrongful death or injury. Virtually all of the bars I've sued were 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 evidence that a bar has broken the law. Investigators must have sufficient proof that there was a violation of TABC regulations in order to take legal action. Owing to the nature of liquor law violations, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to obtain. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Harper's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Harper's Between 2016 and 2019
San Marcos - 139 E Hopkins Street
On 02/09/2016, law enforcement contacted the TABC and alleged that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
TABC agents looked into the matter, but failed to turn up any corroborating evidence of a violation. For the TABC to take action, even the word of a police officer is not enough. With no other option available, authorities closed the case on 04/01/2016.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 06/12/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 07/27/2018.
Law enforcement placed a second complaint on 12/17/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace occurred.
The ensuing investigation was able to determine the veracity of the claim, and as a result, authorities could not take any action. On 01/29/2020, investigators concluded their work on the case.
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.