Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Concho Pearl Icehouse? 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 Concho Pearl Icehouse is a bar and restaurant located in San Angelo, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. In 2019 alone, authorities conducted four 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 Concho Pearl Icehouse for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Concho Pearl Icehouse in 2019
San Angelo - 1605 S Chadbourne Street
Law enforcement filed a complaint on 07/08/2019, alleging multiple violations took place, including: staff drinking on the job, allowing a minor to both purchase and consume alcohol, serving alcohol to an intoxicated person, and a breach of the peace (typically a fight) that the bar failed to report.
Upon investigation, the TABC was only able to locate evidence to back up the claim that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a written warning, authorities closed the case on 08/17/2019.
On 09/12/2019, law enforcement contacted the TABC, alleging the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron and that a breach of the peace took place.
Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC requires corroborating evidence before it can take action. Since agents had none in this investigation, they decided to close the case on 10/31/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint came on 12/03/2019, claiming that staff was drinking on the job and allowed consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours. The first allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
Authorities looked into the matter and found evidence to support the first claim. For some reason, the TABC decided not to press charges and closed the case on 02/02/2020.
A member of the San Angelo community filed a complaint on 01/21/2020, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
The ensuing investigation turned up evidence of both criminal and administrative violations for allowing minors to purchase and consume alcohol. However, authorities opted not to punish the bar for any of the four violations, instead choosing to close the case on 03/01/2020.
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.