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March 8, 2016

TABC Spring Break Undercover Operations Now Under Way

Coordinated effort ongoing to identify retailers selling alcohol to minors

A statewide effort by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to identify retailers illegally selling alcohol to minors is now underway, with TABC agents conducting undercover visits to businesses along travel corridors from Texas cities to the coast.

The campaign is part of TABC's annual Spring Break operations, which last year resulted in more than 900 Texas retailers visited by undercover agents. During the operation, TABC agents will accompany a minor-aged volunteer who will attempt to purchase alcohol. Retailers who sell alcohol to the underage person could face possible administrative action by TABC.

"Every Spring Break, we see a huge movement of young people from our urban areas toward our coasts," said Chief Robert Saenz, TABC Chief of Field Operations. "This operation is designed to ensure our retailers are doing the right thing and refusing sales of alcohol to minors. Last year, more than 90 percent of retailers were found to be in full compliance, and I expect we'll see similar numbers this year."

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 26 people under age 21 died on Texas roads in alcohol-related accidents during the Spring Break period in 2014. Saenz said he hopes both retailers and their customers will put safety first in 2016.

"This isn't a case where we're looking for an excuse to issue a ticket," Saenz said. "These operations are part of a larger effort to educate the public about the danger of underage drinking. It's our hope that retailers will take the message to heart and protect themselves, their business and the public by refusing sales of alcohol to minors."

For more information on TABC's efforts to curb underage drinking, visit the Agency's Facebook page at .

Media Contacts: Arlington - Major Victor Kuykendoll Enforcement Supervisor, TABC Arlington Office (817) 607-2419

Houston - Major Marc Decatur Enforcement Supervisor, TABC Houston Office (713) 426-7900 extension 1103