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Oct 3, 2016

TABC Announces Results of Back-to-school Undercover Operations

Agency finds 90 percent compliance rate statewide

A week-long Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission undercover operation at alcoholic beverage retailers across the state has found that more than 90 percent of businesses were in compliance with laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors.

The findings were part of TABC’s annual back-to-school minor stings, which are timed to coincide with the return of students to college campuses throughout Texas. During a minor sting, an under-21 volunteer attempts to purchase alcohol from a licensed retailer. The minor, who is accompanied by at least two TABC agents, must use their valid ID during the transaction, and is prohibited from lying about their age.

Businesses located in areas with major colleges or universities were visited as part of the operation. Of the 1,337 retailers checked during the operation, just 128 were issued administrative violations for selling alcohol to a minor.

During this fall’s operation, agents visited "on-premise" establishments, where customers can consume alcohol on the premises, as well as "off-premise" establishments, where customers purchase alcohol to drink at home or elsewhere. The operation marked the first statewide effort by TABC to visit on-premise locations during the back-to-school period. TABC agents visited 255 on-premise establishments and issued 48 citations. Agents visited 1,082 off-premise establishments and issued 80 citations.

Businesses cited for selling alcohol to a person under 21 could face possible administrative action such as fines or a suspension of their license or permit. Employees caught selling alcohol to minors could face misdemeanor charges.

"Overall, we’re pleased with the results of this year’s operation, which shows that the majority of retailers are taking their responsibilities seriously," said Chief Robert Saenz, TABC Director of Field Operations. "Even so, we’re committed to working with our retailers to provide training and support in order to help them recognize the dangers of selling alcohol to minors."

Names of businesses issued notices of administrative violation cannot be made public until their administrative cases are settled, after which their information will be added to TABC’s Public Inquiry website.

Sales of alcoholic beverages to a minor are a violation of Sec. 106.03 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Administrative violations were issued in each of the five TABC regions:

Off-Premise Establishments

RegionCheckedSalesPercent in Compliance
Region 1 (West Texas)50590.00%
Region 2 (Dallas-Fort Worth/North Texas)3132891.05%
Region 3 (Houston/Galveston)3752792.80%
Region 4 (Austin/Bryan/Waco)1391092.81%
Region 5 (San Antonio/South Texas)2052090.24%

On-Premise Establishments

RegionCheckedSalesPercent in Compliance
Region 1 (West Texas)22195.45%
Region 2 (Dallas-Fort Worth/North Texas)921682.61%
Region 3 (Houston/Galveston)22577.27%
Region 4 (Austin/Bryan/Waco)471372.34%
Region 5 (San Antonio/South Texas)721381.94%
Statewide Total1,33712890.43%

Anyone wishing to report suspected sales of alcohol to minors may contact TABC by emailing, calling 1-888-THE-TABC, or via the Agency’s TABC:Mobile smartphone app available for Apple and Android devices.

Press Contact:Chris Porter
TABC Public Information Officer
(512) 206-3462