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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against League City's Easy Street ? 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.

League City's Easy Street is a sports bar located in League City, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 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 League City's Easy Street for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of League City's Easy Street Between 2017 and 2019


League City - 112 Hwy 3 North

Allegations:

On 03/13/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol both to an intoxicated patron and during prohibited hours.

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 04/28/2017.

A member of the League City community reached out to the TABC on 07/17/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron, permitted the possession of drugs on the premises, and allowed customers to drink during prohibited hours.

Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that staff was drinking on the job and that customers drank during prohibited hours, which the TABC classified as administrative violations. After handing down unspecified penalties for the infractions, investigators brought the case to a close on 08/11/2017.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 11/19/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.

As mentioned in the first 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 01/05/2019.

The next citizen complaint came on 01/23/2019, accusing staff of 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.

Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 03/22/2019.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 11/21/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before it can take action. Since investigators had none on this occasion, they had no choice but to close the case, which they did on 02/11/2020.

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.