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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Maximus? 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 seen over and over just how rampant this practice really is. While 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 calling more attention to this issue, 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, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.

Maximus is a gentleman's club located in Victoria, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the club'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 Maximus for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Maximus Between 2017 and 2019


Victoria - 1901 N Ben Wilson Street

Allegations:

A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 02/28/2017, claiming the club sold alcohol to a minor.

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 04/19/2017.

A member of the Victoria community reached out to the TABC on 07/05/2017, alleging multiple violations, including: unlawful carry of a weapon on the premises, staff drinking on the job, selling alcohol to a minor and an intoxicated patron, possession of drugs, and gambling.

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had none in this investigation, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 08/03/2017.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 02/13/2018, accusing the club of two counts of staff 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.

Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking action. Due to a lack of video footage, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claims. As a result, they closed the case on 04/15/2018.

On 09/14/2018, law enforcement filed another complaint, this time alleging that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.

The case remained open for nearly six months, but authorities ultimately failed to find any evidence to support the allegation. With no further course of action available, they concluded their work on the case on 03/02/2019.

A third law enforcement complaint came on 07/18/2019, alleging staff was drinking on the job and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.

The subsequent investigation found sufficient evidence to support both allegations. After handing down an unspecified penalty and a warning citation, authorities closed 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.