Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Pub 529? 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 Pub 529 is located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2020, authorities conducted five 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, 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 Pub 529 for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Pub 529 Between 2017 and 2020
Houston - 15444 Fm 529
On 04/25/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the second allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 06/01/2017.
A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 08/09/2017, 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. 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 12/04/2017.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 06/02/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 06/27/2019.
Yet another citizen complaint, filed on 09/18/2019, accused staff of drinking on the job and selling alcohol to a drunk customer.
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 11/01/2019.
The next citizen complaint came on 04/13/2020, claiming that miscellaneous violations took place.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. Consequently, the TABC decided to conclude its work on the case on 05/20/2020.
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.