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June 29, 2022

TABC encourages businesses to practice safety during busy July 4 holiday

AUSTIN — With Texans expected to flock to parades, festivals and other celebrations during the long Independence Day weekend, officials with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are encouraging alcohol retailers statewide to put safety first and avoid some of the most common alcohol-related violations. TABC agents will be on patrol across the state throughout the holiday, visiting businesses to ensure managers and staff are taking the proper steps to keep their communities safe. Major holidays — especially those which fall on a long weekend — often result in busy crowds at bars, restaurants and clubs, increasing the risk of alcohol-related violations. The most frequent violations include sales of alcohol to minors as well as alcohol sales to intoxicated persons. Both violations can result in fines for a liquor license suspension for the business as well as misdemeanor criminal charges for the employee conducting the sale. “The holiday weekend can be an incredibly busy and lucrative time for alcohol retailers, but businesses put their safety and financial security at risk when they neglect to follow the law,” TABC Chief of Law Enforcement Brandy Norris said. “Now is an excellent time to go over best practices with staff and ensure that anyone who sells, serves or handles alcohol understands the risks and warning signs of underage sales or intoxication.” Businesses across the state are encouraged to have a plan in place to verify customers’ age and ensure staff members are empowered to decline a sale if a customer is showing signs of intoxication. Information on best practices, as well as other resources for retailers, are available at tabc.texas.gov/public-safety/retailer-resources/. For more information about TABC, visit tabc.texas.gov. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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June 28, 2022

TABC offices closed for Independence Day

TABC offices will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.  We will reopen at our regular hours on Tuesday, July 5.  Contact us. 

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June 21, 2022

Lee County man arrested on multiple counts of selling alcohol to minors

AUSTIN — A Lee County convenience store clerk was arrested June 14 and charged with multiple counts of selling alcohol to minors following an investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Deepak Sidgel, 39, was booked into the Lee County Jail on four counts of Sales of Alcohol – Minor. He was later released after posting a $7,500 bond. Sidgel’s place of employment, Lexington Food Mart, 8889 N. Highway 77 in Lexington, has been the subject of multiple TABC investigations for improper alcohol sales. Sidgel, who has been arrested previously in connection with one of those investigations, now faces a total of five counts of selling alcohol to minors. “Any resident with information on illegal alcohol sales at a business is asked to contact TABC,” said Maj. Oliver Johnson of TABC’s Central Texas regional enforcement office. “Public involvement is critical when it comes to identifying businesses that place the community’s safety at risk. Tips from the public play a major role in holding businesses accountable and keeping Texans safe.” Businesses that sell alcohol to any person younger than 21 could face a fine or suspension of their license to sell alcohol, with repeat violations resulting in a permanent cancellation of the business’s liquor license. Employees of the business who sell alcohol to minors could also face a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and one year in jail. Anyone with information on the ongoing case is asked to contact TABC by emailing complaints@tabc.texas.gov or calling 888-THE-TABC.   Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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June 15, 2022

TABC arrests El Paso man on charges of impersonating an agent

EL PASO — An El Paso man landed behind bars after he claimed he was an agent of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission while visiting a local bar. Christopher Jacob Contreras, 27, was charged with impersonating a public servant, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Contreras was arrested by TABC agents June 13 and booked into the El Paso County Jail. TABC’s El Paso Enforcement Office received reports May 22 stating that a man had identified himself as a TABC agent while visiting an alcohol retailer. He told employees of the business that they had violated the law by selling alcohol to a person younger than 21. When questioned by a manager of the business, the man claimed he needed to speak with his TABC supervisor and left the premises. A subsequent investigation conducted by the El Paso Enforcement Office, with the help of local businesses as well as witnesses, identified the suspect. “We’re extremely grateful to the businesses who immediately reported this suspicious activity and enabled us to identify the impersonator so quickly,” said Brandy Norris, TABC Chief of Law Enforcement. “It’s important to remember that a legitimate TABC agent will always properly identify themselves as working for the agency and will have an official ID or a badge on display when making contact with a business owner or staff member.” The matter remains under investigation by TABC and local officials. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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June 11, 2022

TABC agents assist Harris County deputies during shots-fired response June 11

HARRIS COUNTY — Agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission were among the first to respond to a call of a shooting in progress from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) during a suspected shots-fired situation in the 12800 block of North Roslyn St. in Houston early June 11. HCSO deputies put out the call around 1:25 a.m. advising of possible gunshots in the area. Four TABC agents responded to the call and arrived on the scene shortly after deputies located a 45-year-old man with suspected gunshot wounds. While one of the agents applied tourniquets to stem the victim’s bleeding, the other agents helped sheriff’s deputies secure the scene. In all, two tourniquets were applied to the victim, who was later transferred to the care of emergency medical technicians prior to transporting him to Houston Northwest Hospital. TABC agents, who are commissioned peace officers, are often called upon to assist local law enforcement during emergency situations. “A very large part of our job is providing support to our partners at local police departments or sheriff’s offices,” said Victor Kuykendoll, Deputy Executive Director for Enforcement. “At the end of the day, our primary role is to help keep our entire community – not just the alcoholic beverage industry – safe.” The case remains under investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.   Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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