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Your local TABC

Public Safety and Enforcement FAQs

This FAQ covers commonly asked questions about TABC’s public safety and enforcement efforts.

TABC agents are commissioned peace officers with statewide jurisdiction to enforce all provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, which regulates every phase of business in the alcoholic beverage industry. As commissioned peace officers, they enforce all state laws.

Agents primarily focus on violations that impact public safety. These public safety issues are human trafficking, intoxication-related violations, age-related violations, breaches of the peace, prohibited hours violations and drug offenses.

See Section 5.31 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

A breach of the peace is a disturbance on a TABC-licensed premises, or when law enforcement or emergency medical services workers respond to a licensed premises. Learn more on the Breaches of Peace page.

Permit and license holders must report a breach of peace on their licensed premises as soon as possible, but no later than five days after the incident. A shooting, stabbing, murder or incident involving seriously bodily injury should be reported no later than 24 hours from the time of the incident.

A breach of the peace may be reported through the Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) (if your business has already onboarded), by email or in person.

Learn more on the Breaches of Peace page.

Agents may visit your business for several reasons, including conducting a routine inspection, investigating a complaint or assisting law enforcement agencies with their duties. The agents will be able to explain the purpose of their visit.  

Public safety violations involve:

  • Human trafficking
  • Intoxication issues
  • Underage drinking
  • Alcohol sales and consumption during prohibited hours
  • Breaches of the peace
  • Drug-related issues

TABC investigates allegations of Alcoholic Beverage Code violations and other laws relating to alcoholic beverages. Our agents conduct a complaint investigation in response to violation allegations.  

See Alcoholic Beverage Code sections 5.53 and 5.54.

It’s a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Code or rules adopted under the Code. An administrative notice is issued to a permit holder for an administrative violation.

If you received an administrative notice, you don’t need to immediately contact TABC. A TABC representative will contact you and let you know how to respond to the notice.

An administrative notice is issued against the permit for a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Code. The violation is noted on the administrative notice under the description section.

The presence of a gaming device isn’t inherently illegal. However, if the gaming device enables the conduct of illegal activity on the retailer’s premises — such as a gambling device — then it’s presence would be a TABC violation. It is a violation to gamble at a TABC-licensed premises (see Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sections 11.46(a)(8), 11.61(b)(7), 61.42(a)(3), and 61.71(a)(16); and TABC Rule 34.3(c)(15) — regarding the general welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people and the public sense of decency). If TABC has reason to believe a licensed location may be operating an illegal gaming machine, the agency will look at whether the machine meets the definition of a “gambling device” in Section 47.01(4) of the Penal Code (chance + consideration + prize). Also note that gambling is largely the purview of local prosecutors and police, so questions about gambling devices should also be directed to your local law enforcement officials.

A criminal citation is issued to an individual person. An administrative notice is issued against a permit or license. Both a criminal citation and administrative notice can be the result of a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

TABC has an Office of Inspector General to handle allegations of employee misconduct. Visit the File a TABC Employee Complaint page to learn more.

Send a message through our Contact Us page.