TABC won't take action against Rainbow Lounge in bartender's alcohol-related death

Bradley Larsen
Bradley Larsen

The Rainbow Lounge won’t face administrative action from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in the death of Bradley Larsen, the bartender who was killed in a car wreck July 26 on Interstate 30.

TABC has closed its source investigation into Larsen’s death after determining there isn’t conclusive evidence to show Larsen was intoxicated at the Rainbow Lounge prior to the wreck, according to TABC spokeswoman Carolyn Beck. Larsen worked the night before the crash, but Rainbow Lounge general manager Randy Norman has said Larsen was not intoxicated when he left the bar at 4 a.m.

Larsen had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit at the time of the wreck, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was traveling at speeds up to 100 mph when he rear-ended an 18-wheeler on I-30 eastbound in Arlington at about 6:15 a.m. Larsen’s toxicology results also came back positive for cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs.

If TABC’s investigation had determined that Larsen was intoxicated when he left the bar, or that he had consumed alcohol after hours on the premises, the agency could have sought to revoke the bar’s liquor permit.

The wreck occurred less than a month after TABC agents, along with Fort Worth police officers, raided the Rainbow Lounge in an incident that made national headlines.

—  John Wright

Rainbow Lounge bartender's blood alcohol was over 3 times limit at time of deadly crash

Brad Larsen
Brad Larsen

FORT WORTH — Bradley Larsen, the Rainbow Lounge bartender killed in a car wreck July 26, had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to toxicology results released earlier today by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Larsen’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.254. The legal limit is 0.08.

Larsen’s toxicology results also came back positive for cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. The Medical Examiner’s report lists Larsen’s primary cause of death as blunt-force head trauma.

“He was under the influence, yes, very much so,” said Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner’s Office. “It would be a contributing factor because it would impair his ability to react to certain things.”

Larsen was traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph on eastbound Interstate 30 in Arlington when he rear-ended an 18-wheeler at about 6:15 a.m. that Sunday, according to police reports.

Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said today the agency is now conducting a full-scale “source investigation” to try to determine where Larsen consumed the alcohol in his system, and whether it was obtained illegally.

Beck has said previously that if it’s determined that Larsen, who’d worked the night before, had been drinking at the Rainbow Lounge after hours — which is illegal — it could mean serious penalties for the bar under its liquor license.

“As soon as it [the wreck] happened, they started fact-finding, interviewing witnesses and things like that,” Beck said. “But once they have evidence of intoxication, that’s what kicks it into higher gear.”

“Our investigators are working hard to find out exactly what happened and whether any laws were violated, other than the obvious ones,” she said.

Randy Norman, general manager of the Rainbow Lounge, told Dallas Voice in July that the Rainbow Lounge closed at 2 that morning. Norman said he saw Larsen leave the bar at about 4 a.m.

“I don’t know where he went afterward,” Norman said at the time. “Brad was definitely not intoxicated when he left this bar. Our policy is no tolerance on drinking by staff.”

—  John Wright