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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Johnny B's Outlaw Saloon? Here's What You Need To Know

I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.

Johnny B's Outlaw Saloon is located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2020, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.

In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Johnny B's Outlaw Saloon for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Johnny B's Outlaw Saloon Between 2016 and 2020


Houston - 12712 Woodforest Boulevard

Allegations:

On 08/15/2016, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.

Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, they closed the case on 10/08/2016.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/12/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.

Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking any action. Since its agents did not have any such proof in this investigation, they were left with no choice but to conclude their efforts, which they did on 05/12/2017.

A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 07/16/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron.

After looking into the matter, investigators found evidence to back up the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. For some reason, the TABC chose not to take any action, deciding instead to close the case on 07/22/2017.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 09/25/2017 that alleged staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.

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 12/09/2017.

On 01/13/2020, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate an allegation that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators were unable to determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they were unable to take any action, leading to their decision to close the case, which they did on 02/28/2020.

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.