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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Louie's Beer Garden & Oyster House? Here's What You Need To Know

My firm has handled more dram shop cases than any other in Texas. With 30 years of experience behind me, I have seen countless examples of bars that fail to follow alcohol service regulations and the tragic consequences that can result. This issue is more rampant that people realize, and one of my goals is to bring it to the public's attention. One way I do this is by reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and posting about my findings. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and want to know how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Louie's Beer Garden & Oyster House is located in San Marcos, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of TABC attention due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Louie's Beer Garden & Oyster House.

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 Louie's Beer Garden & Oyster House for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Louie's Beer Garden & Oyster House Between 2015 and 2019


San Marcos - 119 E Hutchinson Street

Allegations:

On 03/27/2015, the TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, alleging that the bar permitted customers to both purchase and consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

TABC agents investigated the claims and found sufficient evidence to prove the bar allowed customers to consume alcohol during prohibited hours. Additionally, authorities found evidence of other miscellaneous violations. After handing down unspecified penalties for administrative violations, investigators closed the case on 04/21/2015.

A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 06/28/2017, claiming the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and a drunk person.

Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 08/11/2017.

The next complaint came from a member of the San Marcos community on 10/15/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron and that staff was drinking on the job. The second allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to judge when to stop serving is impaired. 

As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to corroborate most claims of wrongdoing. Since investigators had none, they were unable to determine the veracity of the allegations. On 12/15/2018, they decided to close the case without further action.

On 08/22/2019, a citizen complaint accused the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.

The ensuing investigation was not successful at proving that a criminal or administrative violation took place. Consequently, authorities decided to wrap up their work on the case on 09/17/2019.

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.