Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Llano Joe's Bar & Grill? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Llano Joe's Bar & Grill is located in Llano, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2018, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Llano Joe's Bar & Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Llano Joe's Bar & Grill Between 2015 and 2018
Llano - 107 W Main St
On 02/26/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 04/16/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 12/08/2015, claiming that staff was 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.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing - even when the source of a complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 02/05/2016.
A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 04/26/2017, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm both allegations, which they classified as administrative violations. Ultimately, the TABC decided not to hand down any punishment, choosing instead to close the case on 06/27/2017.
The TABC received yet another law enforcement complaint on 03/22/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer and permitting staff to possess or sell drugs on the premises.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 05/07/2018.
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.