Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Hill's Drive Thru? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Hill's Drive Thru is a liquor store located in Naogdoches, 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 three separate investigations into the store's alcohol sales practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Hill's Drive Thru for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Hill's Drive Thru Between 2018 and 2019
Nacogdoches - 10085 Hwy 59 South
On 08/01/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the store sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. 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 08/18/2018.
A member of the Nacogdoches community reached out to the TABC on 12/27/2018, claiming again that the store sold alcohol to an underage customer.
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 01/22/2019.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 07/10/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place and that the store failed to report it (a separate violation in itself).
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but even though the source of the complaint was a police officer, they could not determine the veracity of the claim due to a lack of video evidence. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 07/18/2019.
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.