TABC Announces Statewide Spring Break Operations to Curtail Underage Drinking
AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will conduct a statewide enforcement campaign designed to identify retailers who sell alcohol to underage customers during Spring Break.
The operations – dubbed "minor stings" by the agency – involve undercover teams of TABC agents accompanied by a minor-aged individual who attempts to purchase alcohol from a retailer. Retailers who sell alcohol to the underaged person are notified of the violation and any employees taking part in a sale are cited for Class A misdemeanor charge of providing alcohol to a minor. Businesses found to be in violation could face TABC administrative action such as a fine or a temporary suspension of their license to sell alcohol. Repeat offenders could have their license revoked by the agency.
The stings will take place along popular travel corridors between Texas college or university campuses and the Texas Gulf Coast. Additionally, TABC agents will conduct undercover operations during the week of March 12-17 at South Padre Island and at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.
Prior to the stings, TABC will visit retailers to educate them about the planned operations and to give their employees a chance to review best practices related to safe alcohol sales.
"This operation's goal is not to put people out of business," said Robert Saenz, TABC's Deputy Executive Director for Enforcement. "We want to ensure that any alcohol sold during this busy season is done so safely and legally, and TABC will continue to serve as a resource for retailers who have questions about the law and its impact on their day-to-day operations."
During last year's Spring Break operations, TABC agents conducted 1,546 undercover inspections, finding 110 violations for a compliance rate of 93 percent. In total, the agency conducted a total of 10,796 undercover stings in the last 12 months, finding 1,176 violations.
Results for this year's Spring Break stings will be announced later in March.
Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462