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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.

Aug 9, 2022

TABC set to begin annual back-to-school undercover operations

AUSTIN — Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are focusing their efforts across the state to ensure alcohol is sold safely and responsibly during the busy back-to-school season. Agents from TABC’s Enforcement Division plan to conduct inspections at businesses located near major Texas universities and will work directly with business owners to scan IDs, such as driver licenses and state ID cards, to identify minors using false identification to buy alcohol. The operation, which begins in mid-August and runs through early September, is part of TABC’s overall mission to keep alcohol out of the hands of anyone younger than 21. During the operation, minors working with TABC will enter businesses to purchase alcohol. If a sale takes place, TABC agents enter the business to notify its managers of the violation. TABC agents will also join security personnel at certain businesses to help screen customers’ IDs as they enter the premises. TABC regularly conducts underage compliance operations in communities across Texas. Over the past 12 months, TABC agents visited hundreds of Texas retailers to curb sales of alcohol to minors. Those operations found that nearly 90% of the retailers visited were fully complying with state alcohol laws. “Our goal with these operations is to collaborate with businesses to ensure they’re equipped to operate safely and successfully, especially as they prepare for a busy back-to-school period,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “A primary part of our job at TABC is to help educate business owners about the best ways to ensure their customers, staff and their surrounding communities remain safe.” Selling alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. In addition, businesses cited by TABC for selling alcohol to minors might have to pay a fine and have their license to sell alcohol temporarily suspended. Minors who use a false ID to purchase alcohol could face a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Businesses with questions about best practices for safe alcohol sales can contact their local TABC office to request training or educational materials. Results of this year’s back-to-school operations will be announced in September. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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Aug 8, 2022

Hall of Honor nominations open for 2023

TABC is calling for nominations of retired TABC employees, living or deceased, for induction into the agency’s Hall of Honor. 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. Since TABC established the Hall of Honor in 2020, four employees have been inducted for their dedication.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

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July 31, 2022

TABC updates Public Inquiry data tool to improve user experience

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has launched a new version of its online license data to provide additional information to the public, businesses and local governments. You can access the new data layout in two places: TABC’s Public Inquiry system. Click any of the New Layout options. Texas Open Data Portal

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July 29, 2022

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission issues emergency order suspending El Paso bar

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended the liquor permit of an El Paso bar for 90 days following narcotics allegations. Ciro’s Bar & Kitchen East, 1610 N. Zaragoza Road, may not sell or serve alcohol for 90 days according to a TABC emergency order signed by agency leaders Thursday. Section 11.614 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code gives the agency authority to suspend a business’s permit for up to 90 days if the business's continued operations are deemed a risk to public safety. The business remains the subject of an ongoing TABC investigation that began in September of 2020 in response to reports of alleged narcotics sales. The business has also been the subject of more than 100 calls for service by local law enforcement. “Criminal activity at a licensed business not only endangers the surrounding community, it makes it harder for law-abiding business owners to safely operate and support their families,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “TABC will continue to work with our partners in local and state law enforcement to put a stop to violations such as this wherever they are found.” The case remains under investigation by TABC, the El Paso Police Department and the Department of Public Safety. For more information on TABC, visit tabc.texas.gov. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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July 28, 2022

TABC recognizes Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra with Award

HIDALGO COUNTY — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is proud to recognize Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra with the 2022 Bert Ford Award for his commitment to his community, support of the agency and efforts to protect Texans. TABC presented Sheriff Guerra with the annual award at this week’s Sherriff’s Association of Texas Annual Training Conference & Expo. Each year TABC selects one sheriff from the state’s 254 counties to recognize with the Bert Ford Award. Sheriff Guerra has helped TABC agents in the border region combat underage drinking and impaired driving. He’s also assisted with TABC operations. Most recently, Sheriff Guerra partnered with TABC by opening space in a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office substation for TABC agents stationed in the county. “Sheriff Guerra has been a longtime advocate for public safety, as well as an incredible partner for TABC,” said TABC Deputy Executive Director of Enforcement Victor Kuykendoll. “It’s an extraordinary honor to present him with this year’s Bert Ford Award in recognition of his efforts in Hidalgo County and across South Texas.”

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July 26, 2022

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission names Thomas Graham as next Executive Director

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has selected long-time employee Thomas Graham to lead the agency as executive director.  Graham, who currently serves as director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices as well as interim director of Licensing, succeeds outgoing executive director Bentley Nettles. Graham has been an integral part of positively transforming TABC since his start with the agency in 2005. He began as an auditor and was assigned to field offices in Waco, Bryan, San Marcos and Austin. Graham was promoted in 2008 to head up the Marketing Practices office at TABC’s Austin headquarters, where he reviewed and approved statewide marketing programs for alcoholic beverage manufacturers and distributors.  In 2013, Graham was promoted to director of Excise Tax and Marketing Practices, overseeing the collection of more than $300 million in excise taxes and other fees annually. He has additionally served as interim Director of Licensing since June 2022, overseeing the licensing and permitting process for more than 58,000 alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers across Texas.  “Thomas is an exemplary public servant, an outstanding manager, and an even better husband and father,” said TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly. “His knowledge of the alcoholic beverage industry, as well as his knack for developing relationships and building trust with the businesses we serve makes him an outstanding choice to lead TABC into the future.”  Graham said he looks forward to working with industry members to continue to build Texas as an economic success story.  “I’m incredibly grateful to the commission for this opportunity,” he said. “This agency’s success is built both on the hard work of our industry members as well as the men and women who work at TABC. I’m honored to work with both these groups as we continue to build a safe and successful industry.”  Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.  For more information on TABC, visit www.tabc.texas.gov.  Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462 media@tabc.texas.gov

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July 18, 2022

Richmond office to close July 31

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will permanently close its Richmond office July 31 to ensure efficient use of state resources as the agency begins offering faster service to businesses online. While TABC will no longer offer in-person services at this office, staff will still be available by phone and email. Members of TABC’s Licensing and Audit teams will continue assisting the community, and agents will continue to conduct inspections and operations in the area. The decision to close the location came after re-evaluation of the agency’s office leases statewide. TABC constantly works to identify areas where it can improve its stewardship of state resources. The closures will build on the successful transition many businesses made during the COVID-19 pandemic to work with TABC online and by phone rather than with paper forms and in-person meetings. The agency also moved many services online with the launch of the Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) in 2021. Learn more about AIMS.

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July 13, 2022

Expiration of temporary coronavirus measures

All temporary TABC policy exemptions and Alcoholic Beverage Code waivers related to coronavirus have expired, and the agency is discontinuing use of the Coronavirus Information page. Although the temporary actions to assist businesses during the height of COVID-19 are no longer in effect, a new license structure, new technology and new laws are all in place to provide ongoing support for businesses. You can learn about those permanent changes on the following webpages:  Alcohol Delivery and Pickup Temporary Event Authorizations Product Registration Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) TABC is committed to helping businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic, and as the industry continues to grow across all tiers. View Coronavirus Information page for more information about past agency actions. 

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July 11, 2022

Join the thousands of businesses already using AIMS

Any business with a TABC license or permit can begin using the Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) if they haven’t done so already as part of the agency’s onboarding period. AIMS is the online hub for all TABC business, cutting down the time it takes to process applications, get products registered and file reports. The 11-phase onboarding period for businesses to start using AIMS began in September 2021 and ended this month. If you’re a TABC license or permit holder or representative who needs to make an AIMS account, follow the steps below. Getting started in AIMS Step 1: Watch the virtual education session replay or follow the steps on our How To Use AIMS page. Step 2: Create your AIMS account. Step 3: Start using AIMS to manage or renew your license/permit, apply for new ones, file reports and more. Sign up for industry notifications Keep up with all the latest AIMS updates and TABC news by signing up for our industry notifications below. Sign up for industry notifications.

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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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