Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Pop Da Topz? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars consistently fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to stop serving patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Pop Da Topz is a bar located in Poteet, Texas. Positioned just off of Highway 16, it is popular with motorists passing through on their way to or from San Antonio. In addition to its normal visitors, however, the bar has also received a substantial amount of attention from the TABC in recent years, due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted three separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Pop Da Topz.
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 Pop Da Topz for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Pop Da Topz Between 2016 and 2019d
Poteet - 8710 Hwy 16
On 05/17/2016, law enforcement contacted the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities followed up with an investigation, but they were unable to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, they decided to close the case on 07/07/2016.
The TABC came back to investigate on 10/17/2018, after receiving a complaint that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
This time, authorities were able to locate sufficient proof to back up the allegation. In addition to citing the bar for selling alcohol to a drunk customer, TABC agents also issued a citation for public intoxication. After handing down an unspecified penalty, they brought the case to a close on 12/11/2018.
A staff member filed a complaint on 01/16/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. While it might seem strange for a staff member to be the source of a TABC complaint, employees are in fact legally obligated to report any violations they see on the job.
Authorities looked into the matter and, while they did not find any proof to support the claim, they did find that the bar sold alcohol while under suspension. After issuing a written warning, investigators shut the case on 03/30/2019.
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.