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Get the latest headlines from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. You can look through all of the agency’s recent news releases on this page.

Members of the media should contact the TABC public information officer to make an inquiry.

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May 22, 2023

TABC prepares to ensure public safety over Memorial Day weekend

AUSTIN — As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is ramping up its efforts to promote public safety and encourage responsible alcohol sales and service. TABC law enforcement officers will conduct operations across Texas throughout Memorial Day weekend, which coincides with graduation ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations at schools throughout the state. Those operations will include open and undercover inspections to deter violence and the overservice of alcoholic beverages and will also include underage compliance operations (UCOs) to identify businesses selling alcohol to persons under 21. Additionally, agents from TABC’s Targeted Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) Unit will be available to respond to alcohol-related emergencies such as DWI crashes, assaults, and more. Businesses caught violating the state’s alcohol laws could face a fine or temporary suspension of their license to sell alcohol. During the month of May 2022, TABC agents conducted more than 2,800 inspections, finding a total of 112 violations resulting in 76 administrative cases. “Texans across the state will be kicking off their summer during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and it’s our goal to ensure they can celebrate safely,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “While we hope businesses will voluntarily comply with state law, as most usually do, we want all Texans to know that TABC will have resources in place to deter unsafe practices, respond to emergencies, and hold violators accountable. We expect a safe and successful holiday for the vast majority of the businesses we serve.” Anyone wishing to report a possible violation at TABC-licensed businesses may do so by visiting and clicking on the File a Complaint button. Complaints can also be submitted to TABC by email at or by calling 1-888-THE-TABC. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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May 16, 2023

TABC arrests two for alleged illegal alcohol sales at Dallas-area BYOB bar

AUSTIN — A joint operation between the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and the Dallas Police Department has resulted in the arrest of two Dallas-area women for selling alcohol without a license at a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) establishment. TABC agents arrested Irma Lillian Medina, 30, and Lixy Dariely Juarez Miralda, 20, on May 6 after they allegedly sold alcohol without a license while working at El Patron Sports Bar & Billiards, located at 10571 Denton Drive in Dallas. The business, which operates as a BYOB location, does not hold an active TABC license or permit to sell alcohol. El Patron had been operating as a BYOB business since October 2022, when it lost its license to sell alcohol following a TABC investigation into allegations of subterfuge and violent incidents on the premises. Businesses can operate as BYOB without a TABC license; however, Texas law prohibits alcohol from being sold, and distributors of alcoholic beverages may not make deliveries to businesses that do not have a TABC license. The joint operation that led to Medina’s and Miralda’s arrest began in April after TABC received reports that alcohol was being sold at the unlicensed business. The resulting investigation confirmed the illegal sales at El Patron and revealed that much of the illegal alcohol was being stored at a neighboring bar. That alcohol, which included dozens of cases of malt beverages and several bottles of distilled spirits, was seized by TABC agents following the investigation. “A TABC license is more than permission to sell alcohol. It’s proof that a business has been vetted as meeting the state’s requirements to operate safely and responsibly,” said TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham. “Selling alcohol without a license is not only illegal, but it also places the public at risk of alcohol-related incidents such as DWI, assaults, or worse. More than that, it’s also unfair to the thousands of Texas businesses who obey the law and obtain the necessary license to legally sell alcohol.” Selling alcohol without a license is a violation of Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §§11.01 and 61.01, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of between $100-$1,000. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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April 6, 2023

TABC joins Gov. Abbott’s 'One Pill Kills' campaign to raise awareness of fentanyl dangers

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has joined Gov. Greg Abbott’s “One Pill Kills” campaign helping Texans recognize the dangers of fentanyl poisoning. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid used by medical professionals to treat severe pain. Illicitly made versions of the drug have entered the illegal drug market, putting lives at risk. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl, lethal doses of which can be found in cocaine, heroin, counterfeit prescription pills, and other narcotics. As regulators of the state’s alcoholic beverage industry, TABC will work with alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to help them recognize the signs of fentanyl poisoning. The agency will provide educational materials to each of the more-than 60,000 TABC-licensed businesses throughout the state, and TABC Enforcement agents will continue to investigate locations where illegal narcotics are found or sold. STATEMENT FROM THOMAS GRAHAM, TABC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: “Texas’ alcohol retailers are already trained to recognize the signs of intoxication and to provide help for customers at risk of alcohol poisoning. It’s our hope that retailers will continue to help by training their staff to recognize signs of a fentanyl overdose and calling for medical help when lives may be at risk. By working together, we can save lives and reduce the impact of this deadly drug.” For more information about the “One Pill Kills” campaign, visit: To view TABC’s fentanyl awareness tip sheet and other resources for alcohol retailers, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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April 3, 2023

Annual TABC spring break compliance operations find 127 violations

AUSTIN — A series of covert inspections by agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found that 93% of businesses operated in full compliance with the law during the busy spring break season. In all, TABC agents conducted 1,726 underage compliance operations during the agency’s annual spring break enforcement roundup, finding 127 instances of businesses selling alcohol to people under 21. This year’s results mark an improvement from last year’s operation, which found a compliance rate of 91%. The annual operation attempts to identify businesses selling alcohol to minors at popular spring break vacation spots such as South Padre Island as well as festival locations in Austin and Houston. This year’s results show that most businesses are continuing to take their role in promoting safe and responsible alcohol service seriously, TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Texas’s alcohol retailers are our most important partners when it comes to protecting communities from the dangers of underage alcohol consumption,” Graham said. “It comes as no surprise that most of the businesses we visited continued to do the right thing by training staff and putting policies in place to prevent unnecessary risks related to illegal alcohol sales.” This year’s spring break operation included covert inspections, high-visibility inspections at popular vacation destinations, and partnerships with businesses to help identify customers using fake IDs to purchase alcohol, Graham added. “Spring break is obviously one of the busiest times for retailers across the state, which is why it’s important that retailers continue to do their part to keep their communities safe,” he said. “We’re all extremely grateful to our industry partners for helping us ensure Texans can enjoy the season safely and responsibly.” Businesses found selling alcohol to minors could face administrative penalties such as a fine or temporary suspension of their liquor license. Employees found selling alcohol to minors could also face a misdemeanor criminal charge resulting in a fine or up to one year in jail. For more information about TABC, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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March 7, 2023

TABC working with retailers, consumers to prevent underage drinking during spring break

AUSTIN — Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will visit hundreds of alcohol retailers — such as bars, restaurants, and stores — as part of a statewide operation to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors in popular spring break locations. The annual underage compliance operations during the month of March are part of an ongoing effort to empower businesses to prevent illegal alcohol sales, including sales to intoxicated persons and customers under the age of 21. According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, underage drivers accounted for 575 alcohol-related crashes in 2021, including 66 fatal crashes. “The vast majority of underage alcohol-related accidents and fatalities can be prevented simply by cutting off the source of alcohol to the minors,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Our primary goal during this operation is to work with retailers to ensure they have the practices and policies in place to prevent illegal alcohol sales. In the relatively few cases where we observe a violation, we’ll hold those businesses accountable and get them back into compliance.” Throughout the spring break operation, TABC agents will conduct undercover and open inspections to identify retailers selling alcohol to minors. Businesses found in violation could face a fine or a temporary suspension of their liquor license, while employees who break the law could face a misdemeanor criminal charge. TABC has been offering training and educational resources for retailers to help their employees prepare for the busy spring break season, including in-person sessions such as a seminar held with South Padre Island and Port Isabel merchants in February. “We want alcohol retailers across the state to realize that this period before spring break is the best time to prepare your staff for the busy season ahead,” Graham said. “Train your staff to recognize the signs of a fake ID, as well as the best ways to decline a sale if you think it would break the law. Ultimately, alcohol retailers are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing injury or loss of life.” For more information on TABC training for alcohol retailers, visit For more information about TABC, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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Jan 31, 2023

Statement from TABC on guilty plea from Maria Botello-Morales for sex trafficking charges

BACKGROUND: A 56-year-old Houston woman faces life in prison after she pleaded guilty to multiple sex trafficking charges resulting from a joint investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and members of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA). U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced the guilty plea on Jan. 30, adding that Maria Botello-Morales admitted to recruiting a minor-aged Mexican citizen to work in a bar she owned and to forcing the girl and multiple other victims into sex work on the threat of violence. TABC canceled the liquor permit for the bar, Puerto Alegre, in 2020 following the initial investigation. Botello-Morales remains in custody awaiting sentencing. She faces up to life in prison. The joint investigation was conducted by TABC and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the Houston Police Department as part of HTRA. TABC’s investigation remains ongoing. Statement from TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly: “This case demonstrates the lengths traffickers will go to in order to recruit and abuse victims, even when those victims are barely more than children. All of us at TABC are incredibly proud of the work of our agents and partners with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, and we remain committed to finding and stopping human trafficking no matter where it’s found in Texas.” U.S. Attorney’s Office news release: For more about TABC, visit Trafficking victims are asked to contact TABC’s Victim Services Coordinator at or 713-494-5869. Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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Jan 26, 2023

Convicted human trafficker receives 35-year sentence following TABC, Bexar County investigation

AUSTIN — A San Antonio man was sentenced by a jury to 35 years in prison on charges of human trafficking and 15 years for aggravated promotion of prostitution following a weeklong trial in the 290th District Court concluding Jan. 17. Eric Laranze Taylor, 28, was arrested and charged with the offenses in 2018, after a joint investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. “This heavy sentence sends a clear message that trafficking will not be tolerated in our state,” TABC Chairman Kevin Lilly said. “All of us at TABC remain committed to identifying and stopping human trafficking, whether it takes place within a licensed bar or club, or anywhere else. We’re grateful to our partners at the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office for their outstanding work in bringing Eric Taylor to justice.” The investigation began in the summer of 2018 after investigators received reports that a 16-year-old girl was working as a dancer at multiple sexually oriented businesses in Central Texas, including some licensed to sell alcohol by TABC. Further investigation revealed that she had been recruited over social media by a man, identified as Taylor, to strip in the various men’s clubs and engage in prostitution. Investigators also learned that Taylor provided the child with fraudulent ID documents to facilitate her employment at the clubs. Investigators later found evidence showing Taylor, over several months, had recruited at least three minors and two 18-year-old women to come to San Antonio to live with him and work at multiple strip clubs in San Antonio, Houston, and Travis County. Agents from TABC’s Special Investigations Unit identified and charged several managers at clubs in these locations who hired the minors to work as dancers, resulting in one of the clubs — Blush Men’s Club of San Antonio — having its liquor license canceled by the agency in 2019. Details of the operation were also shared with members of the Texas Legislature, who later went on to pass needed legislation prohibiting sexually oriented businesses from hiring anyone younger than 21 and requiring employers to use E-Verify and other tools to ensure all workers are of legal age. “While this is undoubtedly a victory for public safety as well as all Texans, it does not mean our work is complete,” Lilly said. “Human trafficking has no place in Texas, and as long as criminal elements use TABC-licensed businesses to hide their illegal activity, our investigators will use any and all tools to identify and stop this heinous crime.” For more information about TABC, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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Dec 7, 2022

TABC working with retailers to ensure safe alcohol sales this holiday season

AUSTIN — As Texans prepare for a month of holiday celebrations, officials from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are reminding alcohol retailers to take steps now to prevent risky alcohol sales. TABC agents are planning inspections across the state to ensure retailers are following the law when it comes to preventing sales of alcohol to minors or intoxicated patrons. Texas law prohibits alcohol sale or service to persons under 21 as well as those who are intoxicated. “The holiday season is a time for celebration, but it’s important that Texas alcohol retailers and consumers understand the risks of improper alcohol sales or service,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Now is the best time, before the holiday season kicks into high gear, for business owners and managers to educate their staff on ways to prevent illegal alcohol sales.” Alcohol-related accidents are among the largest drivers of fatalities on Texas roads. According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, drunk driving was a factor in more than 24% of traffic deaths in 2021. TABC’s website includes educational materials, and videos to help retailers recognize the warning signs of underage or intoxicated customers. Retailers can also sign up for the Retailer Education Awareness Program (REAP), a two-hour continuing education course hosted by TABC that teaches best practices for safe alcohol sales. TABC’s site also includes resources for parents to learn more about the dangers of underage alcohol consumption, including new materials related to Texas laws prohibiting hosting parties for minors where alcohol is served. “Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing underage drinking,” Graham said. “This time of year is an excellent opportunity for parents to discuss the dangers of alcohol with their kids and help them avoid situations that could place lives at risk.” Businesses found in violation of state alcohol laws could face a possible fine or a suspension of their license to sell alcohol. Individuals accused of illegally selling alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons could face misdemeanor charges resulting in a fine or jail time. Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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Oct 12, 2022

TABC arrests four on third-degree felony theft charges

DALLAS — An investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has landed four men behind bars after they allegedly stole thousands of dollars’ worth of alcoholic beverages from a local distributor. The investigation began in April after TABC agents were contacted by officials from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), a nationwide alcohol distributor with operations in 44 states, including Texas. Southern Glazer’s representatives informed TABC that a local package store was in possession of hundreds of cases of distilled spirits that the company had no record of selling or delivering to the store. Subsequent investigation by TABC uncovered evidence that the store manager had illegally purchased the stolen products from a Southern Glazer’s delivery driver, with two other Southern Glazer’s employees also involved in the offense. In all, TABC agents recovered 230 cases of vodka, 119 cases of cognac and 29 cases of tequila from the package store, all valued at more than $34,000. Southern Glazer’s officials said total long-term losses due to the theft could top more than $278,000. Arrested and charged with felony organized retail theft were Janish Pankaj Vaishnav, 33 Victor Antonio Aguilar-Leon, 34 Carlos Jaime Munoz, 43 Michael Angel Medrano, 22 Each man was booked into the Dallas County Jail and later released on bond. “This case marks outstanding cooperation between TABC agents, Southern Glazer’s and our partners at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Without their assistance, it’s likely this theft would have continued even longer and could have caused ongoing harm both to the business and their customers across Texas.” “We are very appreciative of the TABC’s quick response to this situation,” added Matt Metz, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Texas.  “We are also grateful for the TABC agents who helped bring this case to a resolution.” Organized retail theft is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The criminal cases are pending with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. A TABC administrative case also remains open at the package store, Top Liquor Beer and Wine, located at 7606 Greenville Avenue in Dallas. For more information about TABC, visit Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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Sept 28, 2022

TABC arrests Galveston bar employee following crash that killed four

GALVESTON — A Galveston bartender was arrested by agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Monday after it was alleged he improperly served a person who was later identified by police as a suspect in a deadly August crash that left four people dead. Gil Garcia, 58, was arrested by agents from TABC’s Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit Sept. 26 and charged with selling alcohol to an intoxicated person. He was later booked into the Galveston County Jail. Garcia was identified as an employee of Gloria’s Lounge, 4126 Avenue S in Galveston. According to TABC agents, Garcia was working as a bartender the night of Aug. 6 when a drunken driver collided with a golf cart and killed four passengers. The victims, ages 4, 14, 25 and 49, were members of a family visiting Galveston Island on vacation. “This tragic case illustrates why it’s so important that alcohol retailers take steps to prevent sales to customers who show signs of intoxication,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Businesses can help prevent deadly crashes by following the law and educating employees on how to identify signs of intoxication. Businesses that are found to have contributed to serious injury or loss of life will be held accountable.” Individuals convicted of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person could face a fine of not more than $500 and up to a year in jail. Businesses found in violation could face TABC administrative action, including a fine or a temporary suspension of their alcohol license or permit. The criminal case remains under investigation by the Galveston Police Department and Galveston County District Attorney’s Office. A TABC administrative case against Gloria’s Lounge remains pending. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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