Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Shamrock's Pub? Here's What You Need To Know
I have been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol for the last 30 years. The hundreds of cases I've handled have repeatedly shown me just how rampant this reckless practice really is. Even though the general public might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't tend to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. With the goal of educating the public on this topic, I spend some of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, I encourage you to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Shamrock's Pub is located in Humble, Texas. Fitted out with two bars, pool tables, a dance floor, and a stage for the steady line-up of bands that play there regularly, it has succeeded in establishing a good reputation with local patrons. While Shamrock's Pub's popularity is unquestionable, the TABC's complaint records indicate that its alcohol service practices might be. Over just four years, authorities investigated allegations of liquor law violations there on no less than five occasions.
In my experience, it's extremely rare for a bar to end up involved in a dram shop case if it doesn't have a history of complaints with the TABC. Almost every bar I've sued was already on the authorities' radar, so when I see a bar investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern 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, 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 Shamrock's Pub for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Shamrock's Pub Between 2015 and 2019
Humble - 228 W 1st Street
On 03/05/2015, a staff member filed a complaint with TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. While it might seem strange that the source of the complaint was a staff member, employees must legally report any violations they see to the authorities.
TABC agents investigated the claims and found enough evidence to establish that both criminal and administrative violations took place, both for selling alcohol to a drunk customer. Authorities handed down an unspecified penalty and subsequently closed the case on 04/27/2015.
Later that year, on 07/31/2015, staff lodged a second complaint, this time claiming three violations took place: a breach of the peace, sale of alcohol to a drunk person, and staff drinking on the job.
The ensuing investigation failed to uncover enough evidence to prove a violation had occurred. As a result, TABC concluded its efforts on 09/23/2015.
The next complaint came from law enforcement on 10/24/2018, and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Without video evidence or eyewitness testimony of a violation, it is virtually impossible for TABC to take legal action. In this particular instance, it had neither. Consequently, agents decided to end their efforts on this case on 12/06/2018.
On 05/02/2019, a concerned citizen notified TABC that the bar allegedly sold alcohol to a minor and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
Authorities looked into the matter, but after a month of inquiry, they came up empty handed. Without enough evidence to issue a citation, TABC shut this case on 06/03/2019.
A member of the Humble community reached out to TABC on 07/15/2019, claiming that a staff member was drinking on the job. This allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Part of the staff's job is to keep an eye out for signs of intoxication in guests and to stop serving alcohol to those who appear drunk. If the staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to perform this essential function is compromised.
The investigation that followed was not able to prove that a criminal or administrative violation took place. As a result, authorities closed the case without taking further action on 09/15/2019.
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.