AUSTIN (KXAN) — A series of undercover operations timed to the start of the school year found 145 retailers sold alcohol to minors, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The TABC will periodically conduct operations to find businesses that are breaking the law. In this statewide initiative during the month of August and first few weeks of September, the TABC conducted 1,878 undercover operations total, targeting cities with colleges or universities. The majority of those were at places like liquor or convenience stores, but about a fourth took place at bars or restaurants.
This year, the amount of time agents conducted the operations nearly doubled, from only three weeks in years past to about six weeks, according to TABC Public Information Officer Chris Porter.
Porter said agents did 134 inspections in Austin and the surrounding counties during this period and found 17 violations. Since the beginning of 2019, 61 businesses in the city of Austin have been cited for sales to minors.
TABC says its agents supervise underage volunteers who go into those businesses with TABC licenses and try to buy alcohol. Businesses who did not pass could face fines and suspended licenses. Employees who sell alcohol to minors can also be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
The violation rate for this initiative was 8%, which TABC says is lower than its statewide average of 10%. It says in the last year, there were 11,210 operations to see if businesses are selling to minors and 1,171 of them were.