Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Briar Patch? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
The Briar Patch is a bar located in El Paso, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2020, authorities conducted three 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 The Briar Patch for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Briar Patch Between 2015 and 2020
El Paso - 508 N Stanton Street Including 508 1/2
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 12/11/2015, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred, which the bar failed to report (a separate violation in itself).
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the second allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 01/08/2016.
A second law enforcement complaint, filed on 01/12/2018, alleged again that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it.
Once again, authorities found sufficient evidence to confirm that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 03/05/2018.
Yet another law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 01/15/2020, alleging that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
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 02/18/2020.
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.