Texas Badge

Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Zota's Nightclub? 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.

Zota's Nightclub is located in Austin, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2020, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the club'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 Zota's Nightclub for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Zota's Nightclub Between 2018 and 2020


Austin - 4700 Burleson Road 'B'

Allegations:

On 01/08/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the club sold alcohol both to an intoxicated person and during prohibited hours.

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 02/14/2018.

A member of the Austin community reached out to the TABC on 01/26/2018, claiming that patrons possessed alcohol acquired from another retailer, solicited alcoholic beverages, and conducted activities related to prostitution on the premises.

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 01/30/2018.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/10/2020, alleging that the club allowed the possession of drugs on the premises, in addition to accusing the club of miscellaneous violations.

TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but even though the source of the complaint was a police officer, they could not determine its veracity due to a lack of video evidence. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 05/19/2020.

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.