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News

Catch up with the latest news and guidance from TABC. You can read our news releases, marketing practices advisories, licencing and audit bulletins, industry notifications, announcements, and articles.

For media inquiries and other public information, visit the Public Information page.

July 27, 2021

TABC Urges Businesses To File 2020 Compliance Reports

Businesses that haven’t yet submitted a compliance report for each of their licensed Texas locations for the Sept. – Dec. 2020 reporting period have until Aug. 1 to file the required reports through the TABC: Compliance Reporting mobile app and avoid further administrative action. Failure to submit your 2020 compliance report may cause your license or permit renewal to be delayed or denied. The compliance reporting period runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 every year. TABC recently issued notices of noncompliance to businesses that hadn’t submitted their compliance report(s). Visit TABC's Compliance Reporting page to get started.

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July 20, 2021

Hall of Honor Nominations Open

Throughout TABC’s history, great leaders and public servants have dedicated their careers to protecting public health and safety while supporting businesses in a vital industry. You can nominate a retired TABC employee, living or deceased, for induction into the agency’s Hall of Honor. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 30, 2021.

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July 6, 2021

TABC Reminds Businesses To Submit New License Applications by July 31

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is reminding businesses to submit their applications for an original, or new, license to the agency before a month-long pause in accepting applications begins Aug. 1. The pause must happen for TABC to prepare new technology that will overhaul the way alcohol industry members conduct business with the agency. The pause begins Aug. 1 and will remain in place until Sept. 1. During that time: TABC will be unable to accept new license or permit applications — including applications for new primary licenses, subordinate licenses and supplemental changes. The agency will continue to process applications for new licenses and permits completed no later than July 31. Applications to renew an existing license or permit will not be affected. TABC will accept applications for temporary events. The pause will allow agency staff to migrate industry members’ data from the current system to the new Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS), which launches Sept. 1. Businesses should view specific instructions and deadlines now on TABC’s Temporary Licensing Process webpage. AIMS will usher in a new way of working with TABC that’s easier, more efficient and less disruptive to businesses. Texans will be able to apply for a new license or renew their current license entirely online, replacing an old system that required applicants to submit paperwork directly to a TABC office. Business owners can also more easily track their application status, file reports, print out licensing forms and required signs, and apply for other TABC programs and initiatives. “AIMS will revolutionize the way industry members interact with TABC,” Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “While we’re excited to introduce this new technology to the people of Texas, our first priority is to reduce the overall disruption to businesses as we prepare for these exciting changes.” TABC urges business owners planning to submit an original licensing application to complete their paperwork, as outlined on the TABC 2021 Changes webpages and TABC Rules, and submit payment before July 31. Regular licensing services will resume Sept. 1 using the new AIMS technology. Sept. 1 marks the effective date of several new state laws related to the alcoholic beverage industry, including the merging of multiple license and permit types, as well as changes in malt beverage rules and license fees. To learn more, visit the TABC 2021 Changes webpages. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer  media@tabc.texas.gov

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June 22, 2021

Multi-Agency Operation Leads to Arrest of Human Trafficking Suspect and Rescue of Victims

AUSTIN — A multi-agency operation in El Paso has led to the arrest of one alleged human trafficker and the rescue of four victims of human trafficking. On June 15, 35-year-old Mario Josue Escajeda was arrested on aggravated promotion of prostitution, outstanding warrants and charged with unlawfully carrying weapons. Escajeda, the owner of the Outskirts Gentlemen’s Club in El Paso County, allegedly offered to supply women for sex in exchange for money. Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted the operation at an El Paso hotel with the assistance of the El Paso County Attorney’s Office, El Paso Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. Escajeda arrived at the El Paso hotel with four women and was arrested. He was carrying two concealed handguns and a stash of cash. The four women, whose ages range from 19 to 39, were interviewed by TABC’s victim’s services coordinator and provided assistance. “TABC is committed to using our vital resources to break up these organized criminal enterprises that are preying on women and girls,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We’re thankful for the hard work of all of the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that are partnering with us to bring traffickers to justice and rescue victims.” Following the sting, TABC agents executed a search warrant at the Outskirts Gentlemen’s Club. Additional evidence was found Escajeda was allegedly breaking the law. His club was shut down by the El Paso County Attorney’s Office for operating a sexually oriented business without a license and illegally selling alcohol for nine months without a TABC license. Isaac Salazar, the manager of the club, was also arrested during the warrant execution for sale of alcohol without a permit. The El Paso County Attorney’s Office will decide on what additional charges Escajeda may face. The club will remain closed pending the outcome of a temporary injunction hearing scheduled for June 24. As part of the on-going investigation, anyone who may have been victimized by the suspect or who has information about potential victims, is urged to contact the TABC Victims Services Office at 713-494-5869 to file a report. TABC is a critical part of the fight against human trafficking. As the state’s sole regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, agents can enter a licensed bar, restaurant, hotel or other alcohol retailer to investigate suspected trafficking. TABC is committed to using its resources to break up organized criminal enterprises and rescue victims. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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June 17, 2021

Online Systems Unavailable During Scheduled Maintenance

The TABC Online Services, Cash and Credit Law and Public Inquiry systems will be unavailable during a scheduled maintenance beginning Friday, June 18, at 6 p.m. CDT and ending Monday, June 21, at 6 a.m. CDT. This means users will be unable to access online license renewal, product registration, seller/server certification and other services during these times. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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May 26, 2021

TABC To Increase Operations To Stop Alcohol Sales to Minors

AUSTIN — As students across the state prepare to celebrate summer, agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are ramping up efforts to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors. The agency, which regulates all aspects of the Texas alcohol trade, uses underage compliance operations (UCOs) to identify retailers who violate the state’s age limit on alcohol sales. It’s a crime in Texas to sell alcohol to any person younger than 21. During a UCO, a minor working for TABC attempts to purchase alcohol from a retailer while under surveillance by TABC agents. Businesses found violating the law could face administrative action, such as a fine or temporary suspension of their license to sell alcohol, while the employee who made the sale could face a misdemeanor criminal charge. UCOs have been an important part of TABC’s toolbox for years, but the pace of operations slowed during 2020 as the agency observed COVID-19 safety protocols. “While we’re extremely fortunate that the vast majority of alcohol retailers do the right thing, these underage compliance operations play a critical role when it comes to keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors,” said Bentley Nettles, TABC Executive Director. “Now that Texas’ bars and restaurants are open at full capacity, TABC is committed to ensuring retailers are empowered to decline any sale of alcohol that places public safety at risk.” TABC agents are observing strict health and safety protocols to protect all UCO participants. Participants undergo a COVID-19 rapid test and are screened for contact with the virus before each night’s operation. For more information about TABC and underage compliance operations, visit tabc.texas.gov/public-safety/enforcement-initiatives-operations/. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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May 13, 2021

TABC Urges Businesses To Complete New Licensing Applications by July 31

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is urging members of the alcoholic beverage industry to prepare now for a month-long pause in accepting applications for new licenses or permits. The pause must happen for TABC to launch new technology that will revolutionize how the industry conducts business with the agency, letting them easily complete TABC tasks anytime and anywhere. The pause begins Aug. 1 and will remain in place until Sept. 1. TABC will be unable to accept new license or permit applications — including applications for new primary licenses, subordinate licenses, and supplemental changes — during that time. The pause will allow agency staff to migrate industry members’ data from the current system to the new Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS), which launches Sept. 1. Businesses should view specific instructions and deadlines now on the TABC website. AIMS will usher in a new way of working with TABC that is easier, more efficient and less disruptive to businesses. Texans will be able to apply for a new license or renew their current license entirely online, replacing an old system that required applicants to submit paperwork directly to a TABC office. Business owners can also more easily track their application status, print out licensing forms and required signs, and apply for other TABC programs and initiatives. The month-long licensing pause will affect any industry member looking to apply for an original permit, TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We certainly understand that this month-long data migration represents a challenge to Texas alcoholic beverage industry members, which is why we’re urging all affected business owners to prepare now,” Nettles said. “Our goal is to minimize the impact to the industry we serve while allowing us to hit the ground running when AIMS comes online Sept. 1.” TABC urges business owners planning to submit an original licensing application to complete their paperwork, as outlined on the TABC 2021 Changes webpages and TABC Rules, and submit payment before July 31. Regular licensing services will resume Sept. 1 using the new AIMS technology. The agency will continue to process applications for new licenses and permits completed by July 31 during the pause, and renewal applications will not be affected. Sept. 1 marks the effective date of several new state laws related to the alcoholic beverage industry, including the merging of multiple license and permit types, as well as changes in malt beverage rules and license fees. To learn more, visit the TABC 2021 Changes webpage. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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May 12, 2021

INDUSTRY NOTICE: Steps to Legally Offer Alcohol-To-Go Under House Bill 1024

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed House Bill 1024 (alcohol-to-go) into law and it is now in effect, replacing the COVID-19 protocols for selling alcohol to go. This law allows eligible Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) holders and Private Clubs (N/NB/NE) to sell beer, wine and cocktails to consumers for pickup or delivery if sold with a food order. To make sure you are ready to sell alcohol to go under the new law, review these three items: Read the alcohol-to-go guidance for Mixed Beverage (MB) and Private Club (N/NE/NB) permit holders. Ensure that you have a current Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) issued by TABC. If you do not have the FB Certificate, submit an application as soon as possible. Under the law, you may not begin or continue selling alcohol to go without this. TABC will do everything it can to timely process and issue FB Certificates to qualified applicants. To help the struggling restaurant industry, TABC will temporarily use discretion on enforcing the FB Certificate requirement for businesses that make good faith efforts to timely submit their FB Certificate applications and payments but have not yet been issued the certificate by TABC. However, if an applicant receives notice that TABC has denied their request for an FB Certificate, the applicant may no longer conduct alcohol-to-go activities. To submit your FB Certificate application, mail (do not email) a completed L-AFB form and a payment of $776 (application fee) to either of these addresses:   TABC Licensing Division 5806 Mesa Drive Austin TX 78731 TABC Licensing Division P.O. BOX 13127 Austin, TX 78731-312 Note: If you previously submitted an application using the L-LRC form and those instructions, TABC will still accept that application and you do not need to submit a new application. After submitting your FB Certificate application to TABC, please post a copy of your FB Certificate application next to your permit at your location. This will help TABC’s Audit and Enforcement personnel in using discretion on enforcing the FB Certificate requirement.   Alcohol delivery drivers are encouraged to take the Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery (TRAD) certification course. This course teaches delivery drivers how to safely deliver alcohol to consumers in Texas. Businesses that hold a TABC Consumer Delivery Permit could be protected from liabilities if their drivers are TRAD certified. The course could also provide some protections to individual delivery drivers.

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May 12, 2021

Alcohol-To-Go Is Now Permanent Law of the Land in Texas

AUSTIN — Texas law now lets customers and businesses safely enjoy alcohol-to-go options. Temporary waivers to provide relief to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic have been updated and made permanent, thanks to recent action by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature. The change comes as part of House Bill 1024, which was approved by the Legislature on April 28 and signed into law by Gov. Abbott on May 12. The law, which took effect immediately after it was signed by the governor, authorizes Mixed Beverage and Private Club permittees to sell alcohol — including mixed drinks — for pickup by customers or delivery, as long as they meet the requirements in the law. Certain other permittees, such as Wine and Beer Retailers, already had authority to send alcohol to go. “This new law will help businesses keep their doors open and ensure Texans keep their jobs,” said TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles. “TABC is grateful to Governor Abbott and members of the Texas Legislature for their leadership on this critically important measure. And a big thank you goes out to the efforts of alcohol retailers who have been safely and responsibly selling alcohol to go under last year’s waiver.” Under the new law, Mixed Beverage and Private Club permittees may: Allow customers to pick up alcohol (i.e., mixed drinks, wine and malt beverages, which will include both beer and ale starting Sept. 1) with food orders. Deliver alcohol with food orders to customers. Use third parties, including agents of the retailer or contractors holding a Consumer Delivery Permit (CD), to make deliveries on their behalf. Alcoholic beverages such as wine or malt beverages must be in their original containers or tamper-proof containers sealed by the retailer and properly labeled when sold for pickup or delivery. Distilled spirits should be sold in an original single-serving container of 375 milliliters maximum. Mixed drinks that contain distilled spirits must be in a tamper-proof container sealed by the retailer with a label that includes the retailer’s business name and the words “alcoholic beverage.” Permit holders must follow all requirements in the law, including holding a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB). Alcoholic beverages picked up or delivered under this authority may not be transported in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. TABC also offers the Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery Training course specifically for drivers who will be delivering alcoholic beverages directly to consumers. For more information, including guidelines on alcohol delivery, visit tabc.texas.gov. View TABC Alcohol Delivery and Pickup webpage. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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May 3, 2021

INDUSTRY NOTICE: House Bill 1024 Pickup and Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages for Off-Premises Consumption

Eligible Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) holders and Private Clubs are now authorized to sell beer, wine and cocktails with food orders that are purchased for pickup or delivery under the following conditions: Retailer eligibility to offer consumer pickup or delivery to consumers: Hold a Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) and a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) for the permitted premises; or Hold a Private Club Registration Permit (N) and a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) for the permitted premises. General authority — Eligible Mixed Beverage (MB) and Private Club (N) permit holders may: Allow customers to pick up alcohol with food orders, Deliver alcohol with food orders to customers, Use third parties acting as an agent of the MB or N to make deliveries, Use independent contractors holding a Consumer Delivery Permit (CD) to make deliveries on their behalf. Restrictions on what may be picked up or delivered — Eligible MB and N permittees may allow pickup or delivery of any number of malt beverages (defined as beer and ale prior to Sept. 1, 2021), wines and/or distilled spirits ONLY WHEN: The alcohol is accompanied by a food order that was prepared on the business’s premises; and           Note: There is no required food-to-alcohol ratio. Malt beverages and wine are in their original container sealed by the manufacturer. Malt beverages and wine are in a tamper-proof container that is sealed by the permit holder (example: growlers of ale) and clearly labeled with the permit holder’s business name and the words “alcoholic beverage." Distilled spirits are in an original single-serving container sealed by the manufacturer and not larger than 375 milliliters (example: cocktail kit); or Distilled spirits are mixed with other beverages or garnishes and stored in a tamper-proof container (example: in-house mixed margarita) clearly labeled with the permit holder’s business name and the words “alcoholic beverage." “Tamper proof container” is defined as a “container that once sealed, clearly shows whether it has been opened. The term includes a cup or similar container that is placed into a bag that has been sealed with a zip tie or staple or sealed with shrink wrap or a similar seal.” Limits on where alcohol may be delivered: Deliveries may only be made to a location: Where the sale of that type of alcohol is legal; and Within the county where the business is located, or up to 2 miles beyond the city limits in which the business is located if that city crosses a county line.  Note: Permittees may NOT deliver alcohol to another licensed or permitted location. Requirements for completing the customer pickup or delivery to the customer: Recipients must not be intoxicated; Recipients must present valid proof of their identity that confirms they are at least 21 years old before the alcoholic beverage is handed over to the recipient; and Recipients must sign a receipt (may be electronically signed) acknowledging the pickup/delivery, OR the individual representing the permitted business (restaurant employee or third party) must acknowledge the completion of the pickup or delivery through a software application. Permit holders should retain the signed receipts or the software application data for a period of one year following the transaction and should be able to make those receipts/data available to TABC upon request for audit purposes. Restrictions on transporting alcohol Alcoholic beverages that are sealed by the permit holder and are picked up or delivered under this authority may not be transported in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. Therefore, alcoholic beverages that are sealed by the permit holder must be placed in the trunk of a vehicle; the area behind the last upright seat of the vehicle, if the vehicle does not have a trunk; or a glove compartment or similar storage container that is locked (See Texas Penal Code, Section 49.031(a)(2)).   Revised to reflect that HB 1024 is now effective (May 12, 2021).

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