Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Waylon & Rays? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Waylon & Ray's is an event venue located in Brownwood, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. In 2019 alone, authorities conducted seven separate investigations into the venue's alcohol service practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Waylon & Ray's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Waylon & Ray's in 2019
Brownwood - 411 S Broadway
A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 04/11/2019, claiming that the venue sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 05/30/2019.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 04/02/2019, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
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 04/29/2019.
On 04/24/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, claiming that the venue sold alcohol to a drunk person.
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 06/04/2019.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 06/26/2019, alleging that the venue sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to determine the validity of the claim. As a result, the TABC closed the case without any action on 08/04/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 08/22/2019, 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 conducted an investigation shortly thereafter, but they were unable to produce any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. As a result, the TABC closed the case on 09/27/2019.
The next citizen complaint came on 09/20/2019, accusing the venue of selling alcohol to a drunk person and a minor.
As is so often the case, authorities looked into the claims, but they were not able find any corroborating evidence. Left with no other option, the TABC decided to conclude its work on the matter on 10/22/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 11/02/2019, alleged that a breach of the peace occurred, which the venue failed to report (a separate violation in itself).
Once again, authorities investigated and failed to find any evidence to support the claims, leaving them unable to take any action. On 12/27/2019, the TABC brought the case to a close.
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.