Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Shades Club? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Shades Club is a night club located in Bay City, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the club's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Shades Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Shades Club Between 2017 and 2019
Bay City - 107 12Th Street
On 12/27/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
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 02/01/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 07/18/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing - even when the source of the complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 08/27/2018.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 09/18/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claims. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 11/06/2018.
A member of the Bay City community reached out to the TABC on 11/16/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and a drunk customer, in addition to allowing gambling on the premises.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to uncover any evidence to support the allegations. Consequently, they decided to conclude their efforts without any further action on 01/15/2019.
On 06/06/2019, the TABC received yet another law enforcement complaint. This time, the allegation was that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
After nearly two months of investigation, TABC agents still had not managed to turn up any evidence to corroborate the claim. Left with no other course of action, authorities wrapped up their work on the case on 08/05/2019.
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.