Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Lone Wolf Pub? Here's What You Need To Know
I have been holding bad bars accountable for over-serving alcohol for the last 30 years. With hundreds of cases under my belt, I have repeatedly seen just how rampant this practice really is. Even though the public might hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't hear much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. With the goal of educating the public on this topic, I spend some of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Lone Wolf Pub is a bar located in San Angelo, Texas. Founded in 1983, it has long attracted locals who come out to play billiards, darts, or hear live music. However, not all of its visitors come for a good time. In recent years, the TABC has come knocking on several occasions after receiving complaints accusing the bar of violating liquor laws. Between 2015 and 2019, agents conducted no fewer than eight investigations into alcohol service practices at Lone Wolf Pub.
In my experience, it is uncommon for a bar that has no previous history of TABC investigations to end up involved in a dram shop case. Almost every bar I've sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with multiple recent complaints on record. The more investigations a bar has had, the more concerned I become that it could one day play a part in a wrongful death or injury.
I want to emphasize that an investigation does not mean a bar did anything illegal. At the same time, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of wrongdoing, that does not mean that a bar is necessarily innocent, either. Given the nature of liquor law violations, it can be difficult for authorities to uncover the evidence necessary for a conviction. What follows is simply a list of complaints against Lone Wolf Pub obtained from TABC's database.
TABC Investigations of Lone Wolf Pub Between 2015 and 2019
San Angelo - 115 Paint Rock Road
On 04/21/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with TABC alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk. Authorities followed up soon thereafter with an investigation.
For most liquor law violations, TABC needs either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take legal action. After well over a month of investigation, agents were unable to turn up sufficient evidence to corroborate the claim. As a result, they decided to close the case on 06/11/2015.
Law enforcement placed a complaint with TABC on 10/21/2016, this time alleging that the bar permitted gambling on the premises.
When TABC investigated, they did not find any proof of gambling. However, they did find evidence that the bar served alcohol to a drunk patron, which it classified as both a criminal and administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities ended their work on the case on 11/09/2016.
A member of the San Angelo community contacted TABC on 01/19/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it (itself a violation).
Investigators were able to determine the veracity of both allegations, classifying them as administrative violations. TABC agents issued the bar two written warnings, after which they closed the case on 03/03/2017.
On 01/16/2018, law enforcement charged that a member of staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Part of the bar staff's job is to look out for signs of intoxication and stop providing alcohol to customers who exhibit them. If the staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to perform this essential function is compromised.
TABC looked into the matter, but after over a month of inquiry, they failed to find enough evidence of a violation to issue a citation. Unable to take any further action, authorities shut this case on 02/24/2018.
A citizen complaint, filed on 06/26/2018, alleged three violations: consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours, permitting the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours, and serving alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities investigated the claims, but without video evidence to back it up, they were unable to take any action. On 08/18/2018, the case came to an end.
On 10/05/2018, law enforcement contacted TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar neglected to report it.
The subsequent inquiry lasted nearly two months, but TABC agents were unable to find any evidence of a violation that would stand up in court. On 12/04/2018, authorities decided to close the case.
A concerned citizen reached out to TABC on 11/27/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
As mentioned earlier, if a TABC agent is not present to witness a violation, authorities need to find video footage of the incident in order to take legal action. In this case, they did not have any such evidence. As a result, TABC ended its work on the case on 01/19/2019.
On 09/24/2019, TABC received another citizen complaint, this time alleging that a member of staff was drinking on the job.
TABC agents conducted an investigation into the claim, but after over two months of inquiry, they failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing. On 11/25/2019, the case came to a close without further action.
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.