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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Run TMJ? 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.

Run TMJ is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five 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 Run TMJ for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Run TMJ Between 2016 and 2019


San Antonio - 9091 Fair Oaks Parkway Suite 201

Allegations:

On 03/30/2016, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with 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 04/05/2016.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 12/21/2016, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, selling drugs on the premises, and accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a minor, an intoxicated person, and during prohibited hours.

Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegations that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, which they classified as both criminal and administrative violations. The investigation also found evidence of other misdemeanor criminal violations, but the TABC ultimately chose to take no action and closed the case on 01/20/2017.

The TABC received a second law enforcement complaint on 01/24/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place, and that the bar failed to report it (a separate violation in itself).

The investigation that followed found evidence to support the claim that the bar failed to report a breach, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 04/09/2017.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 04/05/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer and failed to report a breach of the peace.

As in the previous investigation, authorities found sufficient evidence to determine that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 06/07/2018.

The next citizen complaint came on 06/19/2019, accusing the bar of multiple offenses, including: staff drinking on the job, selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, selling alcohol to a minor, permitting customers to drink during prohibited hours, and permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.

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 09/30/2019.

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.