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Oct 23, 2020

First-of-Its-Kind Training Course Will Help Rescue Human Trafficking Survivors

AUSTIN — A new course from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and its partners provides crucial training to prepare peace officers across Texas to combat human trafficking and rescue survivors. The agency joined forces with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to produce the new continuing education course, which will keep Texas officers at the forefront of combating these crimes by learning to recognize and investigate signs of human trafficking. The course was developed by TABC with assistance from TEEX and will be administered statewide free of charge to officers using the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s online training portal. The online training will allow officers to receive continuing education hours and meet one of the requirements to obtain an advanced peace officer proficiency certificate while empowering them to help stop a crime that’s believed to impact more than 200,000 people in Texas alone. A new video produced by TABC illustrates the trauma experienced by thousands of human trafficking survivors across the Lone Star State. As the state’s sole authority regulating the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC plays a leading role in investigating and stopping suspected human trafficking taking place in state-regulated bars, nightclubs and other businesses where alcohol is sold. “Texas is No. 2 in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking, and it’s an unfortunate fact that these crimes can sometimes involve businesses licensed by TABC,” said TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles. “It’s incumbent on all Texans to do their part to help end this terrible crime. With their successful records of developing and deploying coursework to tens of thousands of Texas peace officers, our partnership with TEEX and TCOLE was a natural fit for this project.” The multi-agency effort represents a unified approach among Texas agencies to put an end to trafficking, according to Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “Human traffickers are a disease within our society that needs to be eradicated,” Sharp said. “Along with our partners, officials with the Texas A&M System and TEEX are equipped, willing and eager to do our part to help capture these predators and bring them to justice.” “Ending human trafficking in the state of Texas — in all its forms — will require the vigilance of every Texan,” said Dr. John Ray, director of the TEEX Institute for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Excellence. “This whole-community approach has been exemplified in this multi-agency effort to more effectively address this heinous crime, as well as raise public awareness.” Officers interested in taking the course may contact their department’s TCOLE liaison or TABC’s Training Division at 512-206-3333 for more information. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officermedia@tabc.texas.gov

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Oct 20, 2020

Alcohol Permits For Six Businesses Suspended Following Operation To Protect Texans

AUSTIN — A weeklong effort by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to enforce the state’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols resulted in emergency orders to suspend the liquor licenses of six businesses. As part of Operation Safe Open, agents inspected businesses across Texas to ensure they’re following state standards to slow the spread of the virus. These requirements include indoor customer capacity limits of 50% for bars and 75% for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups of customers. Agents conducted 1,344 inspections over the last week. “These violations represent a very small number of the more than 20,000 licensed businesses inspected by TABC since the beginning of May,” TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly said. “A large majority of business owners are showing their commitment to keeping customers and employees safe, and we’re grateful for all of their hard work. TABC is committed to assisting the industry as we all work for a safe Texas.” “Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “I’m incredibly proud of all the TABC employees working to ensure Texas bars and restaurants are able to operate safely. Our goal from the start has been to educate business owners about the requirements of the governor’s executive orders, and our Enforcement, Legal and Communications teams have done outstanding work to keep the industry and the public informed on how to stay safe while helping to reopen the Texas economy.” The businesses issued an emergency order for a 30-day permit suspension are: Ampersand — Fort Worth (Bledsoe Street) Lux Lounge — Houston The Whippersnapper — Dallas The Standard — Houston Spire — Houston Sol Billares — Houston TABC is strictly monitoring bar and restaurant activity and will pursue emergency license suspensions if there are violations that threaten public health and safety. TABC has the authority to suspend any license that poses a continuing threat to the public welfare. The first infraction may result in up to a 30-day license suspension, and the second may result in up to a 60-day suspension. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officermedia@tabc.texas.gov

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Oct 13, 2020

Quick Guide to the New TABC Site

Welcome! We hope you take some time to explore the new website, but we’ve provided a quick guide to get you started.

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Oct 13, 2020

TABC Working With Texas Counties To Safely Reopen Bars Oct. 14

AUSTIN – As bars across the state prepare to reopen this week, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has launched an updated webpage with important information for local governments, business owners and communities. TABC’s Coronavirus Information Page, tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus, now features an interactive map listing the Texas counties that have been approved to allow bars to reopen under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32. The order allows bars to reopen at 50% capacity in Texas counties that both opt in to reopen bars and meet the state requirements related to local COVID-19 hospitalization rates and case counts. County judges in eligible counties must submit a form to TABC attesting their county’s status before bars may reopen. Forms and other information relevant to reopening are available for county judges on the TABC website. Bars in counties where county judges have met the requirements may resume operations at 50% capacity starting Oct. 14. Bars must follow all standards in Executive Order GA-32 and the Open Texas Strike Force checklists at open.texas.gov. So far, more than 80 Texas counties have met the requirements for bars to reopen. “This day has been long awaited by many industry members across Texas,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “TABC is committed to helping bar owners and local governments put safety first during the reopening process. I urge all parties to check Governor Abbott’s website and the TABC website for the latest information and best practices as we work together to ensure a safe and successful reopening.” As bars reopen across the state, TABC agents and local health and safety officials will be checking to ensure businesses are complying with state guidelines to reduce the COVID-19 infection risk. Since June, TABC agents have conducted more than 17,000 inspections, finding that nearly 99% of businesses were in full compliance with the law. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officermedia@tabc.texas.gov

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Oct 7, 2020

TABC Will Work With County Governments, Alcoholic Beverage Industry To Ensure A Safe Reopening Of Bars Across Texas

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working with county governments and alcoholic beverage industry members to ensure the safe reopening of thousands of Texas bars and clubs beginning Oct. 14. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced the reopening plan, which allows bars to reopen at 50% capacity once their county judge has certified that the county meets certain COVID-19 case or hospitalization standards set by state health officials. A certification form and instructions will be housed on the TABC website, along with information showing the counties that have allowed bars to reopen. “We greatly appreciate the trust Governor Abbott has placed in the alcoholic beverage industry,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “The Governor’s plan offers a path for county judges to reopen multiple business types in their counties, including bars, breweries, distilleries and more. We’re grateful to all of the industry members who have put safety first since the pandemic began. I know countless Texans have eagerly awaited this day.” TABC staff will work closely with county governments, alcoholic beverage industry members and the Office of the Governor to provide guidelines for local officials and businesses alike, Nettles said. For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Texas alcoholic beverage industry, visit: tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus. To read the Governor’s executive order, visit: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-to-open-bars-in-qualifying-counties   Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer chris.porter@tabc.texas.gov

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