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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Skybox Sports Bar? 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.

Skybox Sports Bar is located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six 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 Skybox Sports Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Skybox Sports Bar Between 2016 and 2019


Houston - 11312 Wertheimer Road Suite E

Allegations:

On 05/06/2016, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron, a minor, and during prohibited hours.

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 concluded their work on the case on 06/25/2016.

The TABC received another citizen complaint on 12/15/2016, alleging that the bar served alcohol during prohibited hours and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place, which the bar failed to report (a violation in itself).

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since agents had none in this investigation, they were unable to determine the veracity of the claims. As a result, the case came to a close on 02/01/2017.

A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 04/24/2017, claiming that the bar served alcohol to a minor.

The TABC looked into the matter, but failed to find sufficient evidence of a violation to take action. Consequently, investigators closed the case on 04/25/2017.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/30/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Even when a police officer is the source of a complaint, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before it can take action. As it had no such evidence, work on the case concluded on 10/06/2018.

An anonymous source filed a TABC complaint on 11/07/2019, claiming a breach of the peace occurred.

The ensuing investigation uncovered evidence that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, authorities shut the case on 11/18/2019.

A citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again on 11/21/2019. This time, the accusations were of selling alcohol to a minor and an intoxicated person.

An investigation followed, but authorities could not locate any hard evidence of a violation. Unable to take any further action, they closed the case on 02/15/2020.

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.