Texas Badge

Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Lone Star Bar? 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 Lone Star Bar is located in Midland, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted six 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 Lone Star Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of The Lone Star Bar Between 2019 and 2020


Midland - 621 W Wall Street

Allegations:

Law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC on 01/30/2019, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and permitted patrons to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the first and last allegations, which they classified as administrative violations. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 03/19/2019.

On 04/02/2019, a concerned citizen reached out to the TABC, claiming that staff was drinking on the job and allowed customers to drink during prohibited hours. Additionally, the complaint alleged that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred, which the bar failed to report.

An investigation ensued, with authorities finding sufficient evidence to determine that multiple counts of permitting the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours occurred. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC concluded its work on the case on 04/09/2019.

The TABC received a second law enforcement complaint on 08/07/2019, claiming that staff was drinking on the job. This type of 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 is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.

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 09/07/2019.

A member of the Midland community reached out to the TABC on 09/17/2019, accusing staff of drinking on the job and allowing customers to both purchase and consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 10/09/2019.

Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 11/14/2019, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer 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 01/30/2020.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC once again on 03/21/2020, accusing the bar of miscellaneous violations.

The subsequent investigation was not successful at producing sufficient evidence of wrongdoing for authorities to take any action. Left with no other option, the TABC wrapped up its work on the case on 04/09/2020.

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.