Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Pflutto's Tavern? 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.
Pflutto's Tavern is located in Pflugerville, Texas. While most of its visitors come to catch a game at the bar or shoot a round of pool with friends, the TABC has also made a number of visits in recent years due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted five separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Pflutto's Tavern.
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 Pflutto's Tavern for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Pflutto's Tavern Between 2018 and 2019
Pflugerville - 20205 Fm 685 Suite 300
On 07/30/2018, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen, accusing the bar of two counts of employees drinking on the job and of allowing staff to sell drugs on the premises.
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 09/28/2018.
The next complaint came from a member of the Pflugerville community, accusing the bar of a litany of violations, including: serving alcohol to a minor and during prohibited hours, four counts of permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, two counts of allowing staff to sell drugs, three counts of selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron, two counts of staff drinking on the job, and one count of allowing gambling.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but after over a month and a half of investigation, they failed to find any evidence to support the claims. With no other course of action available, they closed the case on 12/22/2018.
Yet another citizen complaint, filed on 01/02/2019, alleged that staff was drinking on the job. Additionally, it alleged that the bar sold alcohol both to a drunk person and during prohibited hours, in addition to allowing gambling on the premises.
The ensuing investigation only found evidence to support the claim that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron. Although authorities issued citations for both criminal and administrative violations, they chose not to hand down any punishment. On 02/12/2019, the case came to a close.
On 06/03/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once more. This time, the allegations were a breach of the peace (typically a fight), permitting the possession of drugs, sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person, staff drinking on the job, and gambling on the premises.
After over a month and a half of investigation, authorities still had insufficient evidence to support any of the allegations. Unable to take any action, the TABC shut the case on 07/19/2019.
Another citizen complaint, dated 09/03/2019, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that staff was drinking on the job.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of either claim. After more than two months of work, TABC agents decided to close the case on 11/05/2019.
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.