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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Werk Bar? 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.

Werk Bar is located in El Paso, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted three 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 Werk Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Werk Bar Between 2019 and 2020


El Paso - 1441 N Zaragoza Suite A14-17

Allegations:

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 09/18/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.

Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 11/20/2019.

A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 01/10/2020, alleging that the bar allowed a minor both purchase and possess or consume alcohol. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace.

Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the bar had sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer and failed to report a breach of the peace (both classified as administrative violations), along with three counts of disorderly conduct (criminal violations). Ultimately, the TABC chose to let the bar off with a written warning, subsequently closing the case on 02/26/2020.

On 02/26/2020, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, accusing the bar of miscellaneous violations.

The ensuing investigation found evidence to support the claim, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 06/23/2020.

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.