Dram Shop Liability – Over Service of Alcohol

The service of alcohol is regulated in the State of Texas through the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission otherwise known as TABC. The TABC provides licenses to bars and restaurants and other venues that serve alcohol throughout the State.

Why is it called Dram Shop?

The legal world has many antiquated and old references to areas or practice that linger on the modern practice. Dram Shop comes from the old reference to the measurement of alcohol in the 1800’s – “let me get a dram of whiskey.” As such, bars or taverns were called Dram Shops. Therefore today, when a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol has been negligent and caused injury to someone – it is referred to as Dram Shop Liability. Any Dram Shop in Texas – is still governed by the TABC.

Any company or organization that serves alcohol to the general public must have a TABC license. That licensure means that the bar or restaurant must maintain minimum safety protocols for the service of the alcohol to the public.

These Requirements are for the protection of public safety!

Where alcohol is served improperly or against the rules and regulation prescribed by the State – serious injury or death can occur.

Common Incidents of Improper Service of Alcohol:

  1. Serving a patron too many drinks
  2. Not recognizing a highly intoxicated patron
  3. Serving alcohol to an underage person
  4. Allowing any patron who is obviously intoxicated to leave the bar and drive

When someone who was over-served or served alcohol improperly from a licensed business in Texas and they caused you or someone you know injury or death, the bar or restaurant may be liable for your injuries.

We are only paid – if you recover for your losses. Learn more about our result based fee below.

What is the “Safe-Harbor” Defense?

A bar or restaurant may be excused from liability for the injury if the following provisions are met:

  1. The bar or restaurant requires their employees who serve alcohol to timely and consistently take the prescribed certification course through the TABC that educates the employees of the most common alcohol service violations;
  2. the employee who served the drink or drinks had in fact taken the course or was TABC Certified at the time of serving the alcohol; and
  3. The bar or restaurant does not encourage the over service of alcohol.

Do I have a Dram Shop claim?

There are many different factors that affect whether you have a dram shop claim. Further, you may not even know if you have been injured by someone where alcohol was involved.

If you or a loved one has been injured by someone else and alcohol was involved you should call an attorney who is familiar with Dram Shop liability in Texas. Early collection of videos and information related to the incident are pivotal to the determination of your claim. Contact Thomson Dunkel for a fee no obligation consultation to discuss your claims further.

Our Attorneys take your life and the injuries you have suffered seriously.

At Thomson Dunkel – we know that if you have suffered severe injury or the loss of a loved one due to over-service or improper service of alcohol – it changes your life and the life of your loved ones, your family and your children forever. We are attorneys, but we are people first.

Thomson Dunkel – Texas Injury Lawyers

Here at Thomson Dunkel, we have handled cases similar if not identical to some of the scenarios described above. We invite you to take a minute and share your experience with us. Let us know what you are going through. Maybe we can assist and help you through a potential rough ordeal. Believe us when you say that the bar will not be alone. They will have well qualified attorneys advising them every step of the way. We used to be those attorneys. We know the advice and strategic moves bar owners and their insurance companies and adjusters make. You should have the same thing, a skilled and qualified attorney at your side – working with you at every step of the way. Whether it is at Thomson Dunkel or another attorney, let a skilled attorney guide you through this process. Contact Thomson Dunkel and lets see if we can help.


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League City, Texas 77573

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Texas City, Texas 77590

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