How the TABC investigates bars and bartenders accused of overserving alcohol

TABC investigating Skooners Bar after fatal crash

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech flew flags at half staff on Wednesday to commemorate the death of 19-year-old Jessica Helmers on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Helmers was killed in a collision with a driver coming back from a Lubbock bar.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is now investigating the bar where the driver believed to be at fault for the crash was served.

There has not been in an arrest related to that crash, but TABC has opened an investigation into Skooners Bar and Grill after police said Gabriel Zerrata told them he drove away from the restaurant after having several drinks.

TABC spokesperson Chris Porter confirmed the investigation.

“We are in the preliminary stages of that investigation and there is nothing to announce in any kind of wrong doing,” Porter said.

According to the TABC, bartenders are trained to not serve you if you’re clearly intoxicated to the point you might be a danger to yourself or others. Porter said there is protocol to follow if someone is at that point.

“There are ways to decline a sale, ways to call for help if they need assistance getting home, when and if to contact local police if a situation get out of hand,” Porter said.

He adds that if a bar overserves, their alcohol license could be suspended, or they could be fined. A bartender could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor ranging between a $500 fine and one year in jail.

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