Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Mill? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I've worked to hold reckless bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. My experience handling hundreds of cases has opened my eyes to just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. 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 irresponsible bars play in those accidents. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, I make an effort to share my insights in hopes of calling more attention to this issue. One way I do this is by periodically reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
The Mill is a bar and grill located in Austin, Texas. In addition to its food and drink offerings, it is also known as a music venue for local artists. In addition to its steady clientele of locals, it has also received several visits from the TABC recently, due to complaints alleging it violated state liquor laws. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at The Mill.
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 Mill for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Mill Between 2018 and 2019
Austin - 9112 Anderson Mill Road 'B100'
On 09/12/2018, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen who claimed three counts of staff members drinking on the job in addition to one allegation of staff selling drugs on the premises.
The TABC subsequently investigated and, while it didn't find corroborating evidence for any of the allegations in the report, it did find evidence that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron. Agents issued two citations for a criminal and administrative violation, but handed down no penalty. On 10/20/2018, authorities ended their work on the case.
A citizen complaint, filed on 10/26/2018, alleged that the bar allowed gambling on the premises.
Authorities looked into the matter but found no proof of wrongdoing. On 12/22/2018, they decided to close the case without taking further action.
A member of the Austin community lodged a complaint with TABC on 01/09/2019, claiming that the bar permitted the possession of drugs, permitted the sale of drugs by a staff member, sold alcohol to a drunk patron, allowed staff to drink on the job, all in addition to a claim of lewd acts or exposure of a person on the premises.
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 legal action. Having neither in this particular instance, agents decided to close the case without further action on 03/01/2019.
The same month that the previous case ended, on 03/25/2019, the TABC returned to investigate after receiving a complaint alleging that a staff member was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were unable to turn up any evidence of wrongdoing. On 04/26/2019, the TABC decided to close this case.
On 05/09/2019, a citizen complaint accused the staff of selling alcohol to a drunk patron as well as drinking on the job.
Authorities conducted an investigation, but after well over a month and a half of searching, they could not find any hard proof of a criminal or administrative violation. Thus, the case concluded on 06/29/2019.
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.