Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Deer Lease? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
The Deer Lease is a bar located in Mingus, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Deer Lease for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Deer Lease Between 2016 and 2019
Mingus - 111 S Mingus Boulevard
On 11/23/2016, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises and sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly 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. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 01/15/2017.
A staff member contacted the TABC on 02/22/2017, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. As punishment, the TABC suspended the bar's permit, after which they closed the case on 04/07/2017.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/07/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar permitted gambling on the premises.
As mentioned in the first investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing - even when the source of a complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/06/2019.
A member of the Mingus community reached out to the TABC on 12/30/2019, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and that a breach of the peace occurred.
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 01/28/2020.
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.