Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sports? 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.
Sports is a bar located in Victoria, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than seven 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 Sports for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sports Between 2018 and 2019
Victoria - 5803 John Stockbauer Suite I
Law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC on 04/26/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated patron.
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 05/31/2018.
A concerned citizen reached out to the TABC on 06/21/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer.
After two months of investigation, authorities still had not managed to find any evidence to support the claim. Unable to take any further action, TABC agents concluded their work on 08/21/2018.
Just over a week after the previous investigation ended, the TABC returned to investigate a citizen complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
Authorities conducted an inquiry, but failed to turn up any corroborating evidence of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, they wrapped up the investigation on 09/29/2018.
Law enforcement lodged a second complaint on 12/12/2018, conce again accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
As mentioned in the first 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 closed the case on 02/03/2019.
A member of the Victoria community got in touch with the TABC on 02/07/2019 and alleged the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
Upon investigating, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, authorities closed the case on 04/07/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint came on 06/04/2019, and as usual, it alleged the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron.
An investigation ensued, but authorities could not substantiate the claim due to a lack of video evidence. On 07/22/2019, the case came to an end.
On 12/04/2019, a further law enforcement complaint brought the TABC back to investigate whether the bar had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The subsequent investigation failed to produce any hard evidence of wrongdoing, leaving authorities unable to take any action. As a result, on 12/23/2019, the TABC closed the case.
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.