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Feb 28, 2019

TABC Set to Begin Spring Break Public Safety Operations this Week

AUSTIN – Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will be in liquor stores, bars, beaches, and other locations where alcohol is sold throughout March as the agency kicks off its annual Spring Break public safety operations.

Dozens of TABC's more than 200 commissioned peace officers will take part in the operations, which identify locations where alcohol is sold to minors in violation of state law. Planned operations for 2019 include minor stings, in which TABC agents accompany a minor who attempts to buy alcohol, as well as increased operations which include monitoring for the sale of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated persons at popular Spring Break locations such as South Padre Island and Austin's SXSW music festival.

"Spring Break is among the busiest times for alcohol retailers, particularly those in hotspots such as South Padre or Austin," said Victor Kuykendoll, TABC Chief of Law Enforcement. "These operations allow us to focus on those areas most frequently visited by college-age students to remind retailers that any sales or service of alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons will not be tolerated."

Prior to the operations, TABC auditors will visit several of the alcohol retailers in the most popular Spring Break destinations to provide training and answer questions about best practices related to preventing the sale of alcohol to minors. TABC agents will also work directly with many retailers to help identify minors who use fraudulent IDs to purchase alcohol.

"The ultimate goal is not to penalize retailers who are doing their best to conduct business during a busy time," said Kuykendoll. "What we want to do first and foremost is to ensure they have the tools they need to successfully operate while keeping their customers and employees safe."

Businesses which sell alcohol to persons under 21 could face a civil fine or suspension of their license to sell alcohol. Employees who conduct the sale could also find themselves charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by an up to $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

During last year's Spring Break operations, TABC agents conducted 1,632 minor stings, finding 138 violations. This amounts to a more than 91 percent compliance rate, which is above the statewide year-round average of 89 percent.

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