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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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Aug 31, 2021

TABC Prepares Businesses as Agency Goes Digital Sept. 1

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working with more than 57,000 businesses across the state to ensure they’re ready for a number of new changes taking effect Sept. 1 — including a new online system designed to make it easier than ever to do business with the agency. Starting Sept. 1, businesses in the alcoholic beverage industry can begin using TABC’s new online system — the Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) — for conducting licensing tasks, making payments and completing reporting requirements. This means businesses can finally say goodbye to mailing or hand delivering their paperwork and checks to the agency and instead do everything from the convenience of a computer or mobile device 24/7. By eliminating manual processes and going online, TABC expects to significantly improve its customer service. Other major changes taking effect Sept. 1 include the consolidation of more than 75 TABC license and permit types into 37, with the goal that most businesses will need only one license or permit to conduct most of their activities. This will be accompanied by new licensing fees based in part on the new authorities afforded to the new license/permit types. These changes stem from reforms adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2019 as part of TABC’s review under the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. All state agencies are required to undergo a sunset review every 12 years to identify areas for improvement and increased efficiencies. TABC has been working with businesses and local governments for more than a year to prepare them for the Sept. 1 changes by hosting forums, sending email communications, and providing detailed information on its website about the coming changes and how they impact businesses. These resources are available on the TABC 2021 Changes webpage at tabc.texas.gov/2021. “Our goal throughout this process has been to maintain open and honest communication with the businesses we serve,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “Their feedback, starting in 2019, has been instrumental in helping us to implement these changes in a way that enhances our customer service while building a stronger alcoholic beverage industry for the Texas of tomorrow.” Over the next year, all TABC-licensed businesses will transition to AIMS based on key reporting and renewal dates. For a complete listing of all 2021 changes, including information for local governments, business owners and temporary events, visit the TABC 2021 Changes webpage at tabc.texas.gov/2021. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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Aug 26, 2021

TABC Cancels Liquor Permit for Boom Boom Sports Bar

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has permanently canceled the liquor permit of a San Antonio sports bar where three people died following a mass shooting Aug. 15. The owners of Boom Boom Sports Bar, 1621 S. New Braunfels Ave., agreed to the cancellation during a conference with TABC on Aug. 24. A permanent cancellation of the business’ liquor permit means alcohol may no longer be sold at the location, cutting off an important revenue stream and effectively shutting the business down. TABC had initially issued a 90-day emergency suspension of the bar’s license shortly after the shooting took place. A formal order canceling the bar’s liquor permit was signed by TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles on Aug. 25. “Cutting off a bar’s ability to sell alcohol is among the most serious actions TABC can take in cases like this,” Nettles said. “Our goal at TABC is to help alcohol retailers understand their role in keeping the peace and upholding the safety of their customers and staff. It’s my hope that by working together, we can reduce violence and help ensure a safe alcoholic beverage industry for all Texans.” Following the cancellation, TABC will continue to work with investigators from the San Antonio Police Department, whose criminal investigation of the shooting remains under way. Background Investigators from TABC’s Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit and the San Antonio Police Department responded to a shooting at Boom Boom Sports Bar in the early morning of Aug. 15. The shooting resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to several others. TABC’s investigation sought to determine whether the sports bar’s policies or practices played a role in the shooting. One person, 34-year-old Daniel Barragan, has been arrested by San Antonio police in connection with the shooting.   For more information, visit tabc.texas.gov. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer  media@tabc.texas.gov   

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Aug 19, 2021

TABC Suspends Permit of San Antonio Night Club Following Deadly Shooting

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended the liquor permit of Boom Boom Sports Bar in San Antonio for 90 days following a deadly shooting which claimed the lives of three people early Aug. 15. The move comes as TABC and local police continue their investigation of the events which led to a mass shooting incident at the bar, which also left multiple people injured. So far, one person, 34-year-old Daniel Barragan, has been arrested by San Antonio police in connection with the shooting. Early reports indicate the incident began with a fight inside the bar, which later escalated to a larger fight outside the location. The brawl eventually resulted in gunfire that hit at least five people. Two victims were pronounced deceased at the scene, with a third later dying of their injuries at a hospital. Investigators from TABC’s Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit were immediately notified of the shooting and began an investigation within hours of the incident. The investigation seeks to determine whether the sports bar’s policies or practices played a role in the shooting. In the meantime, TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles used the agency’s emergency powers to suspend the bar’s liquor license for 90 days. During the suspension, no alcohol may be served or sold at the location. State law allows TABC to suspend a business’ permit for up to 90 days if it’s determined that continued operations could place public health or safety at risk. “While it’s never our goal to shut down a business, there are times when public safety must take priority,” Nettles said. “I’m confident that our investigators, along with our outstanding partners at SAPD, will soon get to the bottom of this incident so we can hold the appropriate parties responsible.” As the state’s regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC is responsible for ensuring safe operations at more than 57,000 alcoholic beverage industry businesses statewide. For more information, visit tabc.texas.gov. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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Aug 12, 2021

TABC Set To Begin Annual Back-To-School Undercover Operations

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has started its annual push to ensure accountability for retailers who sell alcohol to minors during the busy back-to-school season. 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, TABC agents will visit alcohol retailers located near major colleges and universities across the state. Minors working with TABC will enter the businesses to purchase alcohol. If a sale takes place, TABC agents enter the business to notify its managers of the violation. 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. “Allowing minors to purchase and consume alcohol is a serious threat to public safety and can lead to tragic consequences such as vehicle crashes, assaults or alcohol poisoning,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “TABC is committed to working with alcohol retailers ahead of time to ensure they have the knowledge and resources they need to prevent these violations before a tragedy occurs.” Selling alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and up to a 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. Results of this year’s back-to-school operations will be announced later in September. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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Aug 3, 2021

TABC Appoints Brandy Norris To Oversee Texas’ Third-Largest State Police Force

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has appointed a longtime peace officer to head up day-to-day operations of Texas’ third-largest state police force. Brandy Norris was named TABC chief of law enforcement at the Commission’s Aug. 3 meeting. Norris, who first joined the agency in 2020, succeeds Victor Kuykendoll, who was recently promoted to deputy executive director for TABC's Enforcement Division. Norris is the first female peace officer to serve as chief of enforcement in TABC’s 85-year history as well as the first woman to oversee day-to-day operations of a statewide police force in Texas. Norris joined TABC following a long career with the College Station Police Department, where she retired with the rank of assistant chief in 2020. She began her career as a patrol officer for CSPD in 1997, earning several accolades before her promotion to sergeant in 2005. Norris was later promoted to lieutenant in 2009, overseeing the department’s Internal Affairs division. She was appointed to serve as assistant chief in 2010, with leadership roles in Administrative Services, Operations Support and Operations. Following her retirement from the department, Norris took over as director of TABC’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, where she oversaw efforts to collect intelligence on human trafficking, narcotics trafficking and other organized criminal activity taking place within TABC-licensed businesses. Norris’ appointment as TABC’s chief of law enforcement makes her the first female officer with responsibility over the day-to-day operations of a state police force in Texas, TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “It’s an honor to recognize Chief Norris and her more than two decades of experience in service to Texas,” Nettles said. “I look forward to working with her and Deputy Executive Director Kuykendoll as we help ensure a safe and successful alcoholic beverage industry for all Texans.” “Chief Norris’ decades of expertise and dedication as a public servant and peace officer represent the very best in policing that the people of Texas deserve,” said TABC Commissioner Deborah Gray Marino. “While she is Texas’ first female to head the TABC police force, making this a historic moment for our agency, it is her stellar qualifications that all Texans should be proud of.”  Norris was sworn in at the Aug. 3 meeting of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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Aug 2, 2021

TABC Appoints Kuykendoll to Deputy Executive Director Post

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has announced the appointment of a longtime peace officer to serve as the deputy executive director overseeing law enforcement. Victor Kuykendoll was tapped to succeed outgoing Deputy Executive Director Robert Saenz, who retires this month. Kuykendoll previously served as TABC’s chief of law enforcement. Kuykendoll got his start as a TABC Enforcement agent in 2001 following his service as an investigator for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and earned a second promotion to lieutenant in 2012, overseeing the Waco Enforcement Office. In 2014, Kuykendoll was promoted to major, assuming leadership over TABC’s Enforcement agents across North Texas. He was later assigned to the Austin Regional Office in 2017, where he was appointed to serve as the agency’s chief of law enforcement in 2018. “I’m excited to work with Victor Kuykendoll as deputy executive director for law enforcement,” said Bentley Nettles, TABC executive director. “He’ll continue to build upon the foundation laid by Robert Saenz, whose expertise and dedication to public service are appreciated by all of us at TABC.” As deputy executive director, Kuykendoll will oversee more than 200 TABC agents deployed across the state. TABC agents are commissioned peace officers with responsibilities to uphold the Alcoholic Beverage Code and investigate organized criminal activity, such as human trafficking taking place within licensed businesses. Media Contact: Chris Porter Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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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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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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