Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Hour Glass Club? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations - such as over-serving alcohol to their patrons - than any other in Texas. In my 30 years of practice, I have repeatedly seen just how rampant this problem is, as well as the tremendous damage it often causes. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is far less common for them to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. With that in mind, I periodically review the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and report my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and want to know how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
The Hour Glass Club is a bar and music venue located in Alvin, Texas. Though bar patrons must pay a fee to become members before they can purchase alcohol, the music venue is open to all, offering a varied line-up of country and rock performances. While The Hour Glass Club has managed to establish a solid reputation with locals, it has also attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC in the process. Between 2016 and 2019, agents investigated the bar on no fewer than four separate occasions for allegations of liquor law violations.
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 Hour Glass Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Hour Glass Club
Alvin - 2005 S Gordon Street
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with TABC on 03/22/2016 that alleged staff was intoxicated on the job and sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron. The first complaint is more serious than it might first appear. Staff are legally required to cut off service to patrons who are dangerously intoxicated, but if they are drinking on the job, their ability to determine when to do so is compromised.
Authorities launched an investigation, but failed to turn up any proof of wrongdoing. Without video evidence or eyewitness testimony of a violation, it is virtually impossible for the TABC to take legal action. With no other option available, agents decided to end their work on this case on 05/04/2016.
On 07/12/2016, TABC received a complaint from a member of the Alvin community, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a person who was obviously intoxicated.
TABC agents subsequently looked into the matter, but after over a month of investigation, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, authorities closed this case on 08/23/2016.
Law enforcement filed a complaint on 01/15/2019 that charged the bar with selling alcohol to a drunk patron.
This time, authorities were able to produce sufficient evidence to determine both a criminal and administrative violation had occurred. After issuing a citation, TABC agents concluded their efforts on 02/27/2019.
Later that year, on 06/10/2019, a citizen complaint claimed that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. In addition, it charged the bar with permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.
Upon investigating, authorities were unable to find corroborating evidence of a violation. Consequently, they brought their investigation to an end without taking further action on 08/09/2019.
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.