Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sharkies On The Beach? 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 people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don'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.
Sharkies On The Beach is a bar and grill located in Surfside Beach, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2020, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so 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 Sharkies On The Beach for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sharkies On The Beach Between 2015 and 2020
Surfside Beach - 10 Surf Drive
The TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen on 03/31/2015, alleging that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a responsibility to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when the cut off service is compromised.
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. In this particular instance, investigators had neither, resulting in their decision to close the case on 06/03/2015.
A member of the Surfside Beach community filed a complaint on 04/12/2016, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but failed to turn up any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Unable to take any further action, authorities wrapped up their work on the case on 06/10/2016.
A staff member reached out to the TABC on 05/15/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place, and that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
As mentioned in the first investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since it had no such evidence in this investigation, it could not determine the veracity of the claim. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 07/01/2017.
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.