Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Whiskey Tango? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last three decades, I have sued more bad bars for over-serving alcohol than anyone else in Texas. The hundreds of cases I have handled have allowed me to see the real extent of alcohol over-service, not to mention the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While everyone knows that drunk driving is a threat to public safety, most people don't give much thought to the part played by bars that keep serving booze to their customers even when they are obviously intoxicated. In hopes of drawing more attention to this issue, I dedicate some of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records 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 me at (855) 326-0000.
Whiskey Tango is a bar in Navasota, Texas. Since its founding in 2017, it has gained popularity with locals who come for the live music, bingo tournaments, shuffleboard contests, and karaoke nights. Though a relatively new establishment, Whiskey Tango has already managed to attract a significant amount of attention from the authorities for allegations of liquor law violations. Between just 2018 and 2019, TABC agents conducted no fewer than five investigations into its alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it's rare for a bar without a history of TABC complaints to end up involved in a wrongful death or injury. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar. 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 Whiskey Tango for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Whiskey Tango Between 2018 and 2019
Navasota - 15875 Crd 304
On 05/09/2018, TABC received a law enforcement complaint alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
TABC agents looked into the matter, but they failed to find any corroborating evidence. It is worth noting that the investigation lasted only one day - significantly shorter than the average of one to two months.
A member of the Navasota community contacted TABC on 07/30/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
Investigators were not able to locate enough evidence of wrongdoing to take any action. To issue a citation for most liquor law violations, TABC needs either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents. Having neither, authorities concluded their work on 08/31/2018.
A law enforcement complaint, received on 09/25/2018, charged the bar with two counts of selling alcohol to patrons who were already over the limit.
As in the previous investigation, authorities had no video evidence and were thus unable to substantiate the claim; even a police officer's word is not enough. On 11/16/2018, TABC closed the case without further action.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 11/26/2018, this time claiming that the bar twice sold alcohol to drunk patrons.
The ensuing investigation was not any more successful than the previous two at proving the claim. Unable to take any legal action, this case came to an end on 01/23/2019.
On 10/22/2019, law enforcement lodged a complaint with TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was noticeably inebriated.
Upon investigating, TABC agents were able to locate enough evidence to prove that an administrative violation had occurred, for which they handed down an unspecified penalty. On 12/19/2019, work on the case concluded.
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.