Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Walters Tavern? Here's What You Need To Know
I have sued more bars for irresponsible alcohol service in the last thirty years than anyone else in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, I can attest to just how widespread the practice of over-serving customers is. 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 the interest of helping the general public see the real extent of this problem, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's record of complaints and posting about 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.
Walters Tavern is located in Lake Dallas, Texas. In recent years, it has called the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2017 alone, authorities conducted four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Walters Tavern.
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 Walters Tavern for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Walters Tavern Between 2015 and 2017
Lake Dallas - 201 Main Street
On 12/16/2015, law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place and that the bar failed to report it (a violation in itself).
The TABC conducted an inquiry into the claims soon after, but failed to uncover any corroborating evidence. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC is unable to take any action without either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents. With no other option available, investigators wrapped up their work on the case on 01/28/2016.
A concerned citizen reached out to the TABC on 01/11/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitted gambling on the premises.
The ensuing investigation was not successful at turning up any evidence of wrongdoing. As a result, authorities could not take any further action. On 03/04/2017, they decided to bring the case to a close.
A member of the Lake Dallas community contacted the TABC on 04/04/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Authorities looked into the matter, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. With no other course of action available, they closed the case on 05/26/2017.
The TABC received a complaint from an unnamed source on 12/04/2017, alleging that the bar allowed gambling on the premises.
An investigation followed and found enough evidence to prove the validity of the allegation, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, authorities closed the case on 01/10/2018.
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.