Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Kiotee's Bumper Club? 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.
Kiotee's Bumper Club is a bar located in Sherman, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of TABC attention due to a number of allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than six 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 Kiotee's Bumper Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Kiotee's Bumper Club Between 2018 and 2019
Sherman - 4401 Houston Street
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/29/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated 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 08/01/2018.
On 07/17/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since investigators had none on this occasion, they could not take any action and subsequently ended their work on 09/01/2018.
A law enforcement complaint, filed on 09/12/2018, accused the bar of multiple violations, including: selling alcohol to both a drunk person and a minor, a breach of the peace (typically a fight), and staff selling drugs on the premises.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not substantiate any of the allegations. Even when a police officer is the source of a complaint, the TABC still needs either video footage or its own agents' testimony in order to act. With no other option available, investigators closed the case on 10/02/2018.
The same day that the last investigation ended, the TABC received a citizen complaint alleging that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Once again, authorities found no evidence to corroborate the claims and could thus take no action. On 11/18/2018, they decided to close the case without any further action.
Law enforcement got in touch with the TABC once again on 12/07/2018, claiming that a breach of the peace occurred.
Agents worked over a month and a half, but were not able to substantiate the initial claim. However, they were able to find proof that staff were drinking on the job, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 01/24/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 10/10/2019, accused staff of drinking on the job and selling alcohol to an intoxicated person. The first 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 itself is intoxicated, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired, which could result in over-serving.
The TABC launched an inquiry into the claims, but it could not substantiate either of them. Consequently, investigators closed the case without further action on 12/06/2019.
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.