Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Lei Low? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I've dedicated myself to holding reckless bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. My experience handling hundreds of cases has opened my eyes to just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. 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 irresponsible bars play in those accidents. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, I make an effort to share my insights in hopes of calling more attention to this issue. One way I do this is by periodically reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Lei Low is a rum and tiki bar located in the Houston Heights. Founded in 2013, it has made a name for itself locally with its wide variety of rum cocktails, Polynesian island-inspired decor, and relaxed ambience. Over the years, however, the bar has also become known to authorities for a number of complaints alleging illegal activity. Between 2016 and 2019 alone, TABC conducted four different investigations of Lei Low's 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 Lei Low for possible administrative or criminal violations.
TABC Investigations of Lei Low Between 2016 and 2019
Houston - 6412 N Main Street Suite C
On 05/23/2016, law enforcement lodged a complaint with TABC, alleging that a patron attempted to drive under the influence after drinking at this establishment.
TABC agents launched an investigation into the matter, but they were unable to turn up any corroborating evidence. Even when it has a police officer's word that a violation occurred, TABC still needs either video evidence or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take legal action. Having neither in this particular instance, it decided to close the case on 6/30/2016.
The next complaint came from a concerned citizen on 03/17/2017, charging that a staff member sold drugs on the premises.
The ensuing investigation failed to locate sufficient proof to back up the claim. As a result, authorities shut this case on 04/11/2017 without taking further action.
On 05/01/2018, a member of the Houston community filed a complaint, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a minor and that a staff member was selling drugs. TABC followed up with an investigation into the claims soon thereafter.
Again, without video evidence, there is not much that TABC can do, and like in the previous investigations, there was none to be had. Without any other option available, agents concluded their efforts on 06/30/2018.
TABC received another citizen complaint on 04/29/2019, this time alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.
After looking into the matter and finding insufficient proof of wrongdoing, TABC agents finally gave up and closed this case on 05/26/2019.
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.