SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is shifting its focus from tracking down COVID-19 safety guideline violators to underage sales and drinking.
This comes as spring break approaches. Though, the agency does this annually, it says it is expecting to be busier this year compared to last as Texas fully reopens.
“For spring break, we were originally going to go down to the coast, and rent a hotel,” Texas State University freshman Olivia Merritt said. “But we decided against it, since the mask-mandate was lifted in Texas. We just don’t really feel like it’s safe.”
Merritt and her friends are planning on a laid back week off, recently changing their plans. But that doesn’t mean other young adults, and even teens won’t be partying.
“Our agents will be conducting undercover operations across the state, but really with a focus on communities where there are major universities and colleges, as well as along the Gulf Coast near Galveston and South Padre,” Chris Porter with TABC said.
TABC said it’s preparing for a busy few weeks ahead with Texas reopening this week — though they no longer have COVID-19 protocols to enforce.
“Last year, obviously, the COVID-19 lockdown began right as spring break was taking place,” Porter said. “Certainly, we do expect an increase.”
State health officials have still urged that spring breakers remain mindful that we are still in a pandemic. That’s something Merritt takes to heart, missing out on her first traditional spring break of college.
“It really sucks, but I’d rather keep everyone around me and my friends safe,” Merritt said.
Several universities across the country have canceled spring break, giving a single day off, rather than a full week, to keep students from traveling.
Right now, there’s no word of that happening in the Austin area.