Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Shirts and Skins? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Shirts and Skins is a bar located in Abilene, 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 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 Shirts & Skins for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Shirts & Skins Between 2017 and 2019
Abilene - 3525 N 6Th Street
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 10/14/2017, alleging that the bar refused an inspection and allowed customers to drink alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 11/13/2017.
On 10/10/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 11/13/2017.
A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 11/20/2017, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
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 02/08/2018.
The TABC received a second law enforcement complaint on 05/10/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that a breach of the peace occurred, which the bar failed to report (a separate violation in itself).
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to find any hard evidence of a violation. With no other option available, the TABC decided to close the case on 07/15/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, placed on 11/29/2019, alleged that a breach of the peace took place.
After nearly five months of investigation, authorities still had not managed to find any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Consequently, the TABC decided to conclude its work on the case, which it did on 04/27/2020.
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.