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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Spanky's Homemade Pizza & Bar? Here's What You Need To Know

Over the last 30 years, I've worked to hold reckless bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. My experience handling hundreds of cases has opened my eyes to just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, I make an effort to share my insights in hopes of calling more attention to this issue. One way I do this is by periodically reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records 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 Homemade Pizza & Bar is located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a good deal of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted three 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 Homemade Pizza & Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Spanky's Between 2018 and 2019


Houston - 4659 Telephone Road

Allegations:

On 05/24/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on
06/21/2018.

A member of the Somerville community reached out to the TABC on 06/08/2018, alleging miscellaneous violations.

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most allegations of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this case, they decided to wrap up their work on 07/18/2018.

Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 03/05/2019, 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 legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to judge when to stop serving is impaired. 

Upon investigation, authorities were able to uncover sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC closed the case on 04/07/2019.

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.