Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Rodeo Disko? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I've sued more reckless bars for over-serving alcohol than anyone else in Texas. The hundreds of cases I've handled have given me a deep awareness of how common this practice actually is. While everyone knows that drunk driving is a serious problem, people are not as conscious of the other side of the issue: bars that put their profits over their responsibility to serve alcohol responsibly. In order to call more attention to this, I regularly research the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and report 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.
Rodeo Disko is a bar and live music venue located in Lufkin, Texas. It caters primarily to the Tejano and Latin music market. Although it attracts a steady stream of touring performers, it has also managed to attract the attention of the authorities on several recent occasions. Over just a three-year period, Rodeo Disko has had seven separate TABC investigations for alleged liquor law violations.
In my experience, it's extremely rare for a bar to end up involved in a dram shop case if it doesn't already have a history of complaints with the TABC. 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 Addison Point for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Rodeo Disko Between 2016 and 2019
Lufkin - 732 S Timerland Drive
On 10/10/2016, law enforcement placed a complaint with TABC alleging that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already intoxicated.
This kind of claim is extremely difficult for authorities to prove, even when the source is a police officer. In this case, there was insufficient evidence to issue a citation, so TABC concluded its work on 11/12/2016 without taking any further action.
The next complaint came on 01/25/2017. A concerned citizen claimed that staff both permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol and sold alcohol to a minor. While similar, these actually constitute two separate violations.
In such cases, agents essentially need video footage of the incident in order to take action. TABC investigated, but did not turn up any evidence that would stand up in court. As a result, it ended its efforts on 02/17/2017.
Law enforcement filed the third complaint on our list on 05/10/2017. The report charges the bar with three violations: permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol, selling alcohol to a minor, and selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
The ensuing investigation could not produce any hard proof of wrongdoing, leading authorities to shut the case on 06/17/2017, after five weeks of work.
On 10/26/2017, law enforcement placed yet another complaint, alleging four different violations: selling alcohol to a minor, failure to report a breach of the peace, permitting the possession of drugs, and selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
When you consider the number of alleged violations and that the source of the complaint was a police officer, it's surprising that nothing came of the investigation. With no hard proof to corroborate the claims, authorities ended their work on 11/20/2017.
A staff complaint, dated 02/02/2018, alleged that a breach of the peace occurred. TABC followed up with an investigation shortly thereafter.
The case stayed open for more than five weeks, but authorities could not find anything to back up the allegation. Unable to take any action, they chose to close the investigation on 03/13/2018.
The next complaint did not come until almost a year later. On 01/22/2019, law enforcement claimed that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace.
This time, TABC was successful in locating proof of the incident, which it classified as an administrative violation. However, for reasons not disclosed in the report, it appears that the agent's supervisor later dismissed the case. On 02/07/2019, TABC's work concluded.
The most recent complaint on record is dated 02/07/2019. Once again, a law enforcement officer reported the bar to TABC, only this time charging that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.
The investigation that followed failed to turn up any proof of a criminal or administrative violation, so on 03/28/2019, authorities closed the case without further action.
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.