Considering A Dram Shop Claim Against Rock Bottom Park and Pub? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While the general public might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Rock Bottom Park and Pub is a sports bar located in Rockport, Texas. In addition to its large selection of craft beers and cocktails, the bar also offers live music and karaoke nights. While Rock Bottom Park and Pub has developed a strong following for its laid-back atmosphere, it has also managed to attract a significant amount of attention from the TABC in recent years. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted four investigations for allegations of liquor law violations.
In my experience, it's rare for a bar without a history of TABC complaints to end up involved in a wrongful death or injury. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar. When I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, 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 Rock Bottom Park and Pub for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Rock Bottom Park and Pub Between 2018 and 2019
Rockport - 507 S Austin Street Including 503
A citizen complaint, filed with TABC on 05/26/2018, charged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron and that an employ was drinking on the job. It is important to note that part of the staff's duty is to exercise good judgement and stop serving patrons who exhibit signs of intoxication. If the staff itself is drinking, its ability to perform this function is compromised.
The ensuing investigation did not uncover enough evidence of a violation for authorities to take any action. On 07/20/2018, TABC's work on the case came to an end.
On 12/20/2018, TABC received a law enforcement complaint alleging the exact same violations as before - that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer and that a staff member was drinking on the job.
Authorities investigated this claim, but failed to locate any proof of wrongdoing. In order to issue a citation for a liquor law violation, TABC needs proof in the form of either video footage or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents. Having neither in this particular instance, investigators closed the case on 02/07/2019.
A concerned member of the Rockport community filed a complaint on 02/07/2019, alleging that the bar both served and permitted the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.
The investigation that followed was unsuccessful at finding sufficient evidence of a violation. As a result, authorities concluded their work on the case on 03/26/2019 without taking further action.
TABC received another law enforcement complaint on 11/13/2018, only this time, it charged the bar with three violations: a breach of the peace (typically a fight), failure to report a breach of the peace, and sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Investigating agents were only able to produce evidence to corroborate the claim that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. Classifying it as an administrative violation, TABC handed down an unspecified penalty and concluded its work on 01/08/2019.
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.