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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Amp Room? 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.

The Amp Room is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five 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 The Amp Room for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of The Amp Room Between 2018 and 2019


San Antonio - 2407 N Saint Mary's Street

Allegations:

On 05/22/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person. The first allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to customers who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.

Authorities investigated soon 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. In this investigation, agents found no such evidence, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/23/2018.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 10/11/2018 that accused the bar of permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. As authorities had none, they could not take any action and subsequently shut the case on 12/17/2018.

A third citizen complaint came on 05/29/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.

Due to a lack of video evidence, the TABC could not determine the veracity of the claim. Unable to take any action, investigators ended their work on the case on 07/20/2019.

On 08/14/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once more. This time, the allegations were that staff was selling drugs on the premises and drinking on the job.

Just as in all of the previous investigation summaries, authorities could not take any action because they had no evidence to support the claims. On 10/08/2019, the case came to an end.

The next citizen complaint came on 01/07/2020, alleging a litany of violations. These included: a breach of the peace (typically a fight), failure to report a breach of the peace, selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer, staff drinking on the job, and allowing patrons to drink during prohibited hours.

Investigators worked on the case for a month and a half, but could not locate any proof to support the claims. Consequently, they concluded their efforts on 02/29/2020.

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.