What Victims Should Know About Dram Shop Lawsuits Against Terminal Six
Having sued more licensed alcohol providers for over-service than anyone else in Texas, I feel I'm most likely more aware than the average person of just how prevalent this problem is, as well as the terrible consequences it has for so many people. To help inform the general public about the issue, I sometimes take a look at the TABC's records of complaints against various bars across the state and publish my findings. If you believe you have a dram shop case, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Terminal Six (or "Terminal 6" depending on the source) is a three-floor night- and dance club in Austin, at the address formerly occupied by Krave Nightclub. The venue caters to Austinites age 18 and up, with its webste calling it "the hottest 3 level Dance Club in the ATX." (You'll have to draw your own conclusions about the accuracy of this claim.) Reading patron reviews creates a hazy impression of decent dance music, rude bartenders, and the discomfiting awareness of a recent police-involved shooting outside the club in mid-August. Despite that shadow cast over its operations and mixed reviews by patrons, Terminal 6 seems to do good business.
In the alcohol service industry, brisk business also means more opportunities for trouble with the law, and Terminal Six appears to be no exception. It hasn't been very long since Krave gave way to Terminal Six, but under the new DBA the bar has already had several encounters with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). In the span of just five months, officers of the TABC were called to the club four times for serious allegations of misconduct.
Note: Investigations are not guarantees of guilt. A complaint's being filed does not necessarily mean that Terminal Six actually violated alcohol-service laws. However, even if sufficient evidence of a violation is not found, that doesn't necessarily mean the bar is innocent either--only that the allegation couldn't be proven. In order to make any claims stick, investigators have to find irrefutable evidence that there was a violation of Texas dram shop law. Due to the nature of the offenses, that proof can be difficult to find. All we're doing here is relaying publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Terminal Six for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Terminal Six
Note: Terminal Six operates just one location on Austin's infamous Sixth Street drag.
Austin - 302 East 6th St/h3>
5/03/2018: According to the TABC complaint record, an Austin citizen contacted them to complain that the bar allegedly served alcohol to someone under the age of 21.
As an 18-and-up club, Terminal Six assumes the responsibility of properly screening its underage clientele from those who are legally able to buy a drink. That can be difficult, but the law requires the bar to be vigilant. It's a risk Terminal Six must have understood when it decided to cater to people below the legal drinking age (though we are not accusing them of serving alcohol to those customers), and so any pleas of ignorance or difficulty in upholding the law won't carry weight.
Serving alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, usually punished by a fine. The TABC complaint report doesn't seem to suggest that officers found sufficient evidence to back up the claim of underage drinking, and the complaint was closed without disposition on 5/31/2018.
7/05/2018: A law enforcement agency, likely the Austin police department, reached out to the TABC to report that a possible breach of the peace occurred at Terminal Six. The same complaint noted that a bar employee (a "Licensee/Permittee") was allegedly intoxicated while on the clock.
The agency sent officers to look into the allegations. During the course of their short investigation (the complaint file was closed on 7/20/2018), it appears they confirmed the charges brought to their attention. The report indicates that on June 30, a bar employee was indeed intoxicated and an unspecified breach of the peace did occur (the public report doesn't get into the circumstances of the breach).
The TABC's report seems to confirm the breach itself and the intoxicated employee, and it appears that these infractions warranted the opening of a full-fledged case within the agency's system. The TABC issued a written warning to Terminal Six for failing to report the breach in a timely manner and closed the complaint, opening a separate file to further look into the other allegations.
7/23/2018: The TABC was informed by a citizen that Terminal Six allegedly allowed a minor to consume alcohol on the premises, as well as a separate allegation that specifically accused the venue of selling or serving alcohol to a patron under the age of 21. These claims may sound similar, but they are distinct within the confines of the law; one only requires passive non-action and the other a direct illegal transaction. The complaint also included allegations that an employee of the bar was intoxicated while working.
TABC officers investigated the citizen's complaints. It appears from the report that investigators were unable to find enough evidence to confirm any of the allegations, nor did they witness any other offenses during the course of their probe. The complaint was closed without disposition on 8/22/2018.
8/15/2018: A source noted by the TABC report as "Other" alerted the organization to possible violations by Terminal Six. The complaint alleges that a breach of the peace took place on site, and that the bar violated TABC regulations by failing to report the breach as required by law.
The TABC looked into the allegations and apparently confirmed that a known breach of the peace had occurred on July 27, prior to the complaint being made. Furthermore, because the agency found out about the breach from an outside source several weeks after its occurrence, Terminal Six was in violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code for not reporting the incident. It also looks like officers discovered further violations in the course of their investigation, but those were only noted as "Place or Manner, Misc."
According to the complaint report, the violations were severe enough to merit the opening of a full-fledged case for more in-depth analysis by the TABC. While no warnings or fines were issued by the time of the complaint's closure on 8/21/2018, the file indicates that the TABC will continue to investigate its circumstances as an actual case within their system.
Texas Law Allows Victims of Negligent Over-service to Sue Providers
If you're interested in learning more about Texas Dram Shop/liquor liability law, we encourage you to look over our extensive guide to the topic. If there's anything you're interested in knowing about Dram Shop, it's most likely there.