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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Spanky's Bar & Grill? 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.

Spanky's Bar & Grill is located in Orange, 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 four 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 Spanky's Bar & Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Spanky's Bar & Grill Between 2015 and 2020


Orange - 1703 N 16Th Street

Allegations:

On 06/03/2015, the TABC received an anonymous complaint that alleged the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).

Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC closed the case on 06/09/2015.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 06/09/2015, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.

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 07/22/2015.

A staff member reached out to the TABC on 07/26/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that a breach of the peace occurred. While it might seem strange that a staff member would 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 09/19/2019.

On 02/18/2020, a concerned citizen filed a complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron.

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 03/31/2020.

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.