Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Reo Bar & Grill? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Reo Bar & Grill is located in Longview, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2017, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar'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 Reo Bar & Grill for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Reo Bar & Grill Between 2015 and 2017
Longview - 4716 Loop 281 West
On 12/10/2015, a concerned citizen contacted the TABC, alleging that the bar 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 02/27/2016.
A member of the Longview community reached out to the TABC on 04/11/2016, accusing the bar of a litany of violations. These included: allowing a minor to purchase and possess or consume alcohol, an unreported breach of the peace (typically a fight), selling alcohol to both an intoxicated person and a non-member, refilling liquor bottles, and failing to invalidate ID stamps on liquor bottles as required by law.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm that the bar failed to invalidate ID stamps and possessed liquor bottles without ID stamps, both of which they classified as administrative violations. After handing down unspecified penalties, the TABC closed the case on 06/07/2016.
The next citizen complaint to reach the TABC came on 06/28/2016, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor and refilled liquor bottles.
As mentioned in the first investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 08/25/2016.
Law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC on 01/04/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace occurred.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 03/01/2017.
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.