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Considering A Dram Shop Case Againse Skallywag Suds N' Grub? Here's What You Need To Know

My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to increase people's awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Skallywag Suds N' Grub is a bar located in Kemah, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2020, 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 Skallywag Suds N' Grub for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Skallywag Suds N' Grub Between 2015 and 2020


Kemah - 600 6Th Street

Allegations:

On 03/31/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron and that a breach of the peace occurred.

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 05/12/2015.

A staff member filed a complaint with 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. While it might seem strange for a staff member to be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.

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 05/27/2017.

The TABC received a second complaint from staff on 01/26/2018. This time, the allegation was that a breach of the peace occurred.

Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 03/19/2018.

Yet another staff complaint, dated 11/07/2017, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.

TABC agents conducted an inquiry into the matter, but they were ultimately unable to determine the veracity of the claim due to a lack of corroborating evidence. Left with no other course of action, they closed the case on 11/20/2017.

On 01/02/2020, an anonymous complaint brought the TABC back to investigate an allegedly unreported breach of the peace.

Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm 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 decided to close the case on 02/06/2020.

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.