Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Hideout? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. 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 order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Hideout is a bar located in Rockport, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than seven investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
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 Hideout for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Hideout Between 2018 and 2019
Rockport - 3813 Hwy 35 South
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/23/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a drunk customer.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 07/20/2018.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 02/06/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 04/05/2018.
On 08/23/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
In addition to finding evidence to confirm the initial allegation, authorities also found evidence that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, which they classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty for the breach of the peace, the TABC closed the case on 10/23/2018.
A member of the Rockport community contacted the TABC on 10/10/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to a drunk patron.
The ensuing investigation was able to confirm the second allegation, which authorities classified as both a criminal and administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 12/04/2018.
The TABC received another law enforcement complaint on 02/01/2019, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already intoxicated.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 03/23/2019.
The next citizen complaint came on 05/16/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that a breach of the peace occurred.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce any hard evidence of wrongdoing. Left with no other option, the TABC wrapped up its work on the case on 07/16/2019.
Law enforcement reached out to the TABC once again on 07/17/2019, claiming that staff was drinking on the job, allowed a minor to both purchase and possess alcohol, permitted the possession of drugs on the premises, and failed to report a breach of the peace.
After six weeks of investigation, authorities still had not managed to uncover sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. Consequently, the TABC chose to end its work on the case on 09/03/2019.
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.