HOUSTON - State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) is pleased to announce that a local liquor provider, plagued by repeated violations, has lost its request to renew its liquor license. Bohac led the protest against the Mucho Mexico Meat Market, also known as the Hola Mexico Meat Market, at the request of Spring Branch constituents who had compiled overwhelming evidence that the store had become a serious nuisance to the surrounding community.
The recent decision came from Harris County Judicial Master Douglas P. Adkinson, who chose to deny both an application for a wine and beer retailer's permit and the renewal application for a beer retailer's off-premise license.
"An alcohol retailer's permit comes with a great deal of responsibility and a commitment to be a good neighbor," said Bohac. "The Judge's decision was forced by the actions of the store owners who failed to hold up to their responsibility to our community."
Community leaders from the Spring Branch Oaks Civic Association came to Rep. Bohac with their concerns about the Mucho Mexico Meat Market. Their concerns included men congregating and drinking beer openly in the parking lot where alcohol consumption is prohibited, men urinating on the side of the building and increased crime in the immediate vicinity. The Houston Police Department received 36 calls for service for the premises from March 2002 through February 2003, and police statistics show increased crime in the block.
"A business owner does not have the right to create a hostile environment that terrorizes its neighbors," continued Bohac. "An apartment complex that is home to many area children is located less than 100 feet away and this store has become a threat to public safety."
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agrees. The TABC launched an investigation against the establishment and joined Representative Bohac in the protest against the Mucho Mexico Meat Market.
"The TABC believes that the number and nature of the calls for service are of such a nature that there is a danger to the general welfare, health, peace, morals, safety, and sense of decency of the people," stated Agent Wayne Pool with the Enforcement Division of the Commission. "The TABC also believes that the permittee cannot control the location or its clientele."
Agent Pool's report pointed out that the addition of alcoholic beverages only serves to make the situation worse. This is demonstrated by the number of assaults, disturbances, and arrests for intoxication. "The TABC believes that no matter who the owner is that the same type of problems will exist," continued Pool. "The TABC does not believe the permit or license should be renewed and no future permit or license should be issued at this location."
"This is a big win for the Spring Branch neighbors who have been negatively affected by these repeated violations," concluded Bohac. "Although I am pro-private property rights and pro-small business, when a business serves or sells alcohol, it has a big responsibility. When neighbors become afraid and an establishment continues to defy the law, they forfeit their right to continue doing business as usual."