Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Pub Fountains? Here's What You Need To Know
I've held more bars accountable for irresponsible alcohol service practices than any other lawyer in Texas. The hundreds of cases I've handled over the last 30 years have shown me just how many bars regularly over-serve their patrons, not to mention the tragic consequences that often result. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is less common to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate part 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 might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
The Pub Fountains is a bar and grill located in Stafford, Texas. With a waterfront patio area, live music six nights per week, and plenty of TVs for patrons looking to catch a game, it has been drawing large crowds since it opened in 2013. Over the years, it has also attracted the attention of the TABC on several occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into alcohol service practices at The Pub Fountains.
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 contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not evidence that a bar has broken the law. Investigators must have sufficient proof that there was a violation of TABC regulations in order to take legal action. Owing to the nature of liquor law violations, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to obtain. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated The Pub Fountains for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Pub Fountains Between 2015 and 2018
Stafford - 12720 SW Freeway
On 11/23/2016, a concerned citizen reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities followed up with an inquiry. 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 01/11/2017.
A citizen complaint, filed on 01/12/2017, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
After nearly two months of investigation, authorities failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing. Unable to take any action, they decided to close this case on 03/07/2017.
The TABC received a complaint from law enforcement on 11/14/2017, which charged that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Though the complaint came from the police, the TABC could not take any action because it lacked video evidence. As a result, the case concluded on 12/22/2017.
Law enforcement filed another complaint on 07/10/2018, again claiming the bar sold alcohol to a customer who was already over the limit.
As in the previous case, the TABC could not prove the allegation due to a lack of video evidence. Consequently, investigators wrapped up their work on the case on 08/22/2018.
A member of the Stafford community got in touch with the TABC on 07/20/2018 and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but once again found there was no video evidence to back up the claim. With no other course of action available, they shut the case on 07/27/2018.
On 08/09/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once more. This time, the allegation was that a breach of the peace took place.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the ensuing investigation was unsuccessful at proving a criminal or administrative violation had taken place. On 08/18/2019, the case came to a close without any further action.
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.