Considering A Dram Shop Case Against La Hacienda Event Center? 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.
La Hacienda Event Center is a concert hall located in Midland, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the venue'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, 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 La Hacienda Event Center for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of La Hacienda Event Center Between 2017 and 2019
Midland - 12600 Hwy 191
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/09/2017, alleging that the venue permitted both a minor to possess or consume alcohol and the possession of drugs on the premises. Additionally, police alleged that the bar served alcohol to an intoxicated patron and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred, which the bar failed to report (a separate violation in itself).
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 06/23/2017.
A second law enforcement complaint, filed on 12/29/2017, alleged that the venue sold alcohol to a drunk person.
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 02/26/2018.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, dated 07/11/2018, accused staff of drinking on the job and selling alcohol to a minor. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the venue permitted staff to sell or possess drugs on the premises.
Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the venue sold alcohol to a minor and failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as administrative violations. After issuing a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 08/29/2018.
On 10/28/2019, the TABC received an anonymous complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The ensuing investigation failed to turn up any hard evidence to support the allegation. Unable to take any further action, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 04/09/2020.
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.