Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Jack's Tavern? 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.
Jack's Tavern is sports bar located in Denton, Texas. Locals know it for its country feel, with some coming to catch a game, play pool, darts, or make use of the dance floor. In recent years, the bar has also attracted a good deal of attention from the TABC, due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Jack's Tavern.
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 Jack's Tavern for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Jack's Tavern Between 2015 and 2019
Denton - 508 S Elm Street #101
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 02/06/2015 that claimed staff at this bar was drinking on the job. This allegation is more serious than it might appear. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to customers who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to determine when to stop serving is compromised.
Authorities looked into the matter, but they were unable to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing. 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 03/14/2015.
A concerned citizen reached out to the TABC on 11/24/2015, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
TABC agents conducted an investigation, but after nearly two months of work, they failed to find any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any further action, investigators closed the case on 01/15/2016.
On 03/06/2018, a law enforcement complaint brought the TABC back to investigate claims that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to determine the validity of most claims of wrongdoing. Once again, no such proof was available and agents could take no action. Thus, on 04/24/2018, the case concluded.
A member of the Denton community contacted the TABC on 07/02/2019, charging that staff was drinking on the job. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the bar permitted the possession of drugs and allowed the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.
After less than two weeks of investigation (far below the average of a month or two), authorities decided to close the case on 07/13/2019 due to a lack of evidence to substantiate the charges. Even a police officer's word is not enough for the TABC to take 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.