Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Tate's? 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.
Tate's is a bar located in Dallas, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019 alone, 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 Tate's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Tate's Between 2016 and 2019
Dallas - 2723 Mckinney Avenue
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 03/11/2016, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it (a separate violation in itself).
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm that the bar failed to report a breach, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC closed the case on 03/30/2016.
A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 06/30/2016, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 08/22/2016.
On 10/05/2016, a concerned citizen contacted the TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it.
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 12/03/2016.
A member of the Dallas community reached out to the TABC on 10/26/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to both an intoxicated person and a minor.
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 01/09/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 05/02/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to turn up sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. Left with no other option, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 07/30/2019.
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.