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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Hanger? 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 Hangar is a bar located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2018, authorities conducted no fewer than seven 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, 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 Hangar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of The Hangar Between 2015 and 2019


San Antonio - 8203 Broadway

Allegations:

On 05/05/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated patron, in addition to permitting staff to sell drugs on the premises.

Authorities followed up with an inquiry soon thereafter. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, agents decided to close the case on 05/16/2015.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 08/04/2015, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it (a violation in itself).

Upon investigating, authorities were able to determine that the bar failed to report the breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, TABC agents concluded their work on 09/09/2015.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 08/04/2015, alleging again that a breach of the peace took place that the bar failed to report.

TABC agents looked into the matter and found sufficient evidence to prove a breach of the peace occurred. For the second time, they decided to issue a warning rather then handing down any punishment. On 09/09/2015, the case came to an end.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/27/2016, accusing staff of drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated.

Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence in order to take action. Due to a lack of such evidence in this case, authorities gave up their efforts on 02/16/2016.

A citizen complaint, filed on 05/24/2016, alleged that yet another breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it.

The ensuing investigation found sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. After handing down an unspecified civil penalty, authorities closed the case on 07/21/2016.

On 06/28/2018, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once more. This time, the allegation was that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.

The case stayed open for nearly six months, but authorities ultimately closed it on 12/23/2018 after failing to uncover sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

An anonymous source contacted the TABC on 12/20/2018, alleging that a breach of the peace took place.

The investigation that followed was not successful at uncovering any proof of wrongdoing, which led investigators to close the case without further action on 02/02/2019.

A citizen complaint on 08/10/2019 alleged that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer, and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.

Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the validity of the allegations. After nearly two and a half months of investigation, the case came to a close on 10/23/2019.

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.