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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Knockout? Here's What You Need To Know

My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to increase people's awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Knockout is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the TABC's attention on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five 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 Knockout for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Knockout Between 2016 and 2019


San Antonio - 1420 N Main

Allegations:

On 04/13/2016, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen, alleging the bar 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. In this investigation, TABC agents had neither, which led to their decision to close the case on 04/21/2016.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 06/21/2018, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred, and that the bar failed to report it.

Upon investigating, authorities discovered sufficient evidence to prove the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 07/24/2018.

A citizen complaint, filed on 07/20/2018, claimed that a breach of the peace occurred (which the bar failed to report), and that the bar both permitted the possession of drugs on the premises and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.

The ensuing investigation failed to turn up any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Unable to take any further action, authorities closed the case on 09/21/2018.

On 08/14/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate the bar for allegedly selling alcohol to a minor.

After nearly two months of work on the case, authorities failed to find any hard evidence of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, investigators opted to wrap up their work on the case on 10/08/2019.

Law enforcement lodged a complaint with the TABC on 10/04/2019, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a drunk person.

Authorities launched an inquiry into the matter, but they were unable to find any evidence to corroborate the claim. On 11/26/2019, the case came to a close without any further action.

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 Knockout for possible criminal or administrative violations.