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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Speedway Sports 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 Speedway Sports Bar is a small chain of NASCAR-themed bars located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than eight investigations into the chain'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 Speedway Sports Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of The Speedway Sports Bar Between 2015 and 2019


San Antonio - 9055 Marbach Road Suite 112

Allegations:

An anonymous source contacted the TABC on 05/01/2015, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.

Authorities looked into the matter, but they failed to find sufficient evidence to back up the claim. Unable to take any further action, they closed the investigation on 06/23/2015.

A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 05/10/2016, claiming that staff was drinking on the job and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises. The first 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 itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.

TABC agents launched an inquiry into the accusations soon 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. In this investigation, agents had neither, which led to their decision to close the case on 05/28/2016.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 12/06/2016, alleging again that staff was drinking on the job.

After nearly a month of investigation, authorities were unable to uncover any hard proof of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 01/01/2017.

The TABC received a citizen complaint on 06/06/2017, claiming that staff was drinking on the job and that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace.

As mentioned in a previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since investigators had no such evidence, they opted to end their efforts on 07/11/2017.

Law enforcement lodged a complaint on 11/17/2017, claiming a breach of the peace took place and the bar failed to report it.

The ensuing investigation lasted over two months, but failed to produce any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any further action, authorities ended their work on 01/19/2018.


San Antonio - 8811 Grissom Road

Allegations:

On 09/07/2016, the TABC received a citizen complaint, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

Authorities subsequently investigated, but due to a lack of video evidence they did not manage to determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they concluded their work on the case on 10/13/2016.

A citizen complaint, filed on 02/19/2019, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer.

TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but were ultimately unable to substantiate the claim. On 04/12/2019, the case concluded.

An unnamed source contacted the TABC on 04/02/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace took place.

As in all of the previous investigation summaries, authorities lacked video evidence to support the allegation, which resulted in their decision to close the case on 04/06/2019.

On 12/12/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, there were three allegations: permitting staff to sell drugs on the premises, selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, and permitting consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.

After investigating and failing to turn up any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation, the TABC closed the case on 02/01/2020.

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.