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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Oak Cliff Social Club? Here's What You Need To Know

My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Oak Cliff Social Club is a bar located in Dallas, Texas. Opened in 2012, the idea was to create a laid-back spot for neighborhood residents to come meet and mingle. Open seven days a week, it offers its members a wide selection of drinks, in addition to Italian food options supplied by a neighboring restaurant. While Oak Cliff Social Club has established a good reputation with locals for the quality of its service, it has also managed to earn a reputation with the TABC for allegations of liquor law violations. Over just two years, authorities investigated the bar's alcohol service practices on no fewer than eight occasions.

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 Oak Cliff Social Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Oak Cliff Social Club Between 2017 and 2019


Dallas - 238 W Davis Street

Allegations:

On 12/13/2015, the TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place at this bar.

Though the ensuing investigation did not uncover any evidence to back up the claim, it did result in an unspecified penalty for the bar for selling alcohol to a non-member. On 02/07/2016, authorities closed the case.

A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 06/26/2017 that alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

For most liquor law violations, the TABC needs either video footage of an incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. In this particular case, it did not have sufficient proof to back up the allegation. However, it did manage to find evidence that the club sold alcohol to a non-member, for which it issued an unspecified penalty. On 08/04/2017, the case came to a close.

The TABC received a complaint from a member of the Dallas community on 12/27/2018, charging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, a drunk person, and a non-member.

Authorities conducted an investigation into the claims, finding enough proof of wrongdoing to issue citations for all three violations. However, for one reason or another, they handed down no punishment, choosing to end their work on the case on 02/15/2019.

On 03/06/2019, a concerned citizen reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron as well as to a non-member.

Agents looked into the matter, but following a five-week investigation, found no hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. As a result, authorities closed this case on 04/16/2019, taking no further action.

A little over a week after the previous investigation ended, on 04/24/2019, the TABC was back after receiving a citizen complaint that charged that the bar sold alcohol to an underage patron, an inebriated person, a non-member, and that staff was drinking on the job. The last complaint 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 severe intoxication. If the staff is itself intoxicated, its ability to perform this essential function is compromised.

The TABC followed up with an inquiry, but it did not manage to produce any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any further action, authorities shut this case on 06/12/2019.

An anonymous source contacted the TABC on 06/24/2019 and claimed that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit and to a non-member.

The investigation that followed was exceptionally short, lasting only about a week when the average is about a month or two. Authorities had no video evidence in this case to back up the claims, and as a result decided to stop working on the matter on 07/01/2019.

A subsequent citizen complaint, lodged on 09/18/2019, charged the bar with selling alcohol to a drunk patron.

Once again, having no video evidence of any wrongdoing, authorities could not determine the veracity of the claim. Thus, on 09/25/2019, the case came to a close without further action.

On 11/04/2019, another citizen complaint alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, to a non-member, and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.

As in several of the previous cases, the TABC could not verify the validity of the allegations due to a lack of video footage. On 01/07/2020, authorities brought their work on the case to a close.

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.