AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission recently conducted a statewide effort to enforce the state’s underage drinking laws. During the operation, 131 of the 1,100 retailers TABC visited sold alcohol to minors, the release said.
The operation was part of a statewide push that coincided with the start of the college fall semester. During the visits to the licensed retailers, minor-aged volunteers, who were under the supervision of undercover TABC agents, would go in and try to buy alcohol.
Similar operations happen regularly across the state, but the back-to-school operation targeted retailers in college cities during the month of August.
In all, TABC agents conducted a total of 1,131 underage compliance operations across Texas, finding a total of 131 violations, which means a compliance rate of 86%. The high compliance rate is a testament to retailers’ efforts to keep employees informed of the law’s requirements, according to TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham.
“Our state’s alcohol retailers are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the illegal sale of alcohol to minors,” Graham said. “While TABC will continue to hold violators accountable, our first goal is to serve as a resource to help educate businesses and ultimately keep them in compliance.”
Businesses cited for selling alcohol to a minor could face TABC administrative action including a civil fine and the temporary or permanent suspension of their liquor license. Individual employees who sell alcohol to minors could also face Class A misdemeanor charges.
Businesses seeking more information about underage drinking laws can download free educational materials at www.2young2drink.com and tabc.texas.gov/public-safety/retailer-resources/.
Business owners can also request free training by TABC auditors on best practices to avoid selling alcohol to minors.