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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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Oct 6, 2023

TABC agents act quickly to save victim of possible opioid overdose

AUSTIN — Quick action by two agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission revived a woman who was found unresponsive during an inspection of a Dallas-area bar Sept. 30. TABC agents Wesley McDonald and Tim Shepherd were conducting a regular inspection of a dance club on the 10000 block of Finnell Street when they observed a woman in a wheelchair slumped over and unresponsive. The unresponsive person was surrounded by several other patrons who were attempting to revive her. The two agents examined the woman and found that she was limp and unresponsive to verbal stimulation. They also could not locate a pulse on the woman. The agents instructed an employee to contact 911 and began questioning the woman’s acquaintances on whether she had taken any drugs or medication. During this conversation, the woman’s eyes rolled back and the skin around her mouth began to turn blue. The agents quickly determined that it was necessary to use Narcan, the device that delivers the anti-opioid overdose medication naloxone. Agent McDonald retrieved his Narcan, while Agent Shepherd held the woman’s head upright to maintain her airway. A few seconds after the medication was administered, the woman regained consciousness. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for further treatment. “I truly believe Agent McDonald’s and Agent Shepherd’s quick actions saved a life that night,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Our agents are, first and foremost, dedicated to keeping Texans safe and saving lives. I’m incredibly proud of these agents’ actions, and I’m grateful for all our agents and industry partners who are working to keep their fellow Texans safe.” All TABC agents conducting inspections carry Narcan as part of their regular duty equipment. The agency is also working to develop training for alcohol retailers on the warning signs of a possible opioid overdose and what to do if a suspected overdose takes place at the business. The agents’ lifesaving actions come as Texas observes its first Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month this October. The annual observance, which was adopted by the Texas Legislature earlier this year, seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of opioids such as fentanyl. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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Sept 29, 2023

TABC appoints Ronald Swenson as executive chief of agency law enforcement operations

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has appointed agency veteran Ronald Swenson to the post of executive chief of enforcement, where he will oversee the agency’s 200-plus commissioned peace officers working across the state in support of public safety.  Swenson, who previously served as head of the agency’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), succeeds former Executive Chief Victor Kuykendoll following his retirement in August. “Chief Swenson has been a huge part of TABC’s success in law enforcement over the past 18 years, and I know he’ll be a great fit to lead law enforcement efforts,” said Thomas Graham, TABC Executive Director. “He is a proven leader, an outstanding peace officer, and a true Texan. I have the utmost confidence in Ron and in the entire TABC law enforcement staff. This is an exciting time for our agency.”  Swenson got his start at TABC in 2005, starting as an enforcement agent at the agency’s Odessa office. He was later promoted to oversee the SIU and the unit’s investigations into human trafficking, narcotics trafficking and other organized criminal activity. Following that, he was appointed as deputy chief of law enforcement for the agency’s Investigations Bureau, which includes SIU as well as the agency’s criminal intelligence, financial crimes, victim services, and Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) units. Before joining TABC, Swenson served with the Horizon City Police Department for 11 years. Swenson is a graduate of the FBI National Academy - 212th session, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Covert Operations School and the Governor’s Executive Development Program. He holds a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Master Peace Officer Certificate as well as a TCOLE instructor certification. He also serves on a number of task force boards, including the Austin-area FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Texas Violent Gang Task Force and Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council.  Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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Sept 21, 2023

TABC announces 93% retailer compliance rate during back-to-school operations

AUSTIN — A statewide series of inspections by agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found that 93% of retailers successfully prevented the sale of alcohol to minors during the busy back-to-school season.  The inspections, called “underage compliance operations” (UCOs) by TABC, are part of the agency’s regular efforts to ensure retailers are aware of Texas’ laws against selling alcohol to customers younger than 21. While TABC enforcement agents conduct UCOs on a weekly basis, the back-to-school operations represent a statewide effort to inspect alcohol retailers located near major colleges or universities.  In total, TABC agents visited 1,144 alcohol retailers throughout August and September, finding just 81 violations, or a 93% compliance rate.  “This data tells us that the vast majority of Texas alcohol retailers take their customers’ safety seriously and are already working to hold their employees accountable,” said Thomas Graham, TABC Executive Director. “These retailers understand that they are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing alcohol-related injury or death, and all of us at TABC are grateful for their continued dedication to maintaining safe communities.”  Businesses found selling alcohol to a minor could face a fine or a possible suspension of their license to sell alcohol. Employees who sell alcohol to a minor could face a class A misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and one year in jail.  For more information on TABC, visit  Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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Sept 13, 2023

TABC agents seize illegal distillation equipment during Johnson County operation

AUSTIN — An anonymous tip led agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to uncover and seize illegal distilling equipment during a successful operation Sept. 1. Agents from TABC’s Arlington Regional Office led the operation to seize the still, which was discovered at a residence in Johnson County. The still was maintained in operable condition, meaning it could be used to manufacture illicit alcohol in violation of state law. During an interview with TABC agents, a person living at the residence admitted to owning the equipment. Section 103.02 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code prohibits any person from possessing equipment “designed for, capable of use for, or used in manufacturing an illicit beverage,” including the possession of distillation equipment without a TABC Distiller’s and Rectifier’s Permit. The Code allows peace officers to seize any illicit alcoholic beverages along with any equipment used in their manufacture. “This operation exemplifies TABC’s commitment to properly enforcing the law and ensuring the safety and integrity of the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Not only does illicit alcohol risk the health and safety of anyone who consumes it, but it also undermines the efforts of law-abiding alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers who continue the do the right thing when operating their businesses.” Possession of illicit distillation equipment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $100–$1,000. The case remains under investigation. For more information on TABC, visit Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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Aug 16, 2023

TABC arrests Austin convenience store clerk for online solicitation of minor, illegal alcohol sales

AUSTIN — A joint operation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Department of Public Safety has resulted in the arrest of an Austin convenience store clerk on charges of online solicitation of a minor, sale of alcohol to a minor, and furnishing alcohol to a minor.  Pedro Enrique Flores-Vasquez, 48, was taken into custody Aug. 11 and booked into the Travis County Jail. Flores-Vasquez, an employee of Hyde Park Market, 4429 Duval St. in Austin, remains in custody in lieu of a combined $34,000 bond.  Online solicitation of a minor is a third-degree felony punishable by a prison sentence of between two to 10 years, along with a fine of up to $10,000. Selling alcohol to a minor and furnishing alcohol to a minor are both class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.  The criminal case against Flores-Vasquez is pending.   For more information on TABC, visit  Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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June 22, 2023

TABC arrests one for labor trafficking following joint operation

AUSTIN — A Cuban citizen stands accused of labor trafficking following his arrest by agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission May 24. Luis Diaz Sala was arrested at his home in Irving as part of a joint operation by TABC, the Dallas Police Department and officers of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Gangs and Violent Crimes Task Force. The joint operation identified Diaz Sala as a suspected labor trafficker in February 2022, when it learned that an organized criminal element was smuggling people from Cuba to the United States and forcing them to work at a TABC-licensed business to pay off the smuggling debt. During that investigation, agents observed Diaz Sala at the business on multiple occasions and confirmed his suspected ties with the business’ management. TABC agents obtained an arrest warrant for Diaz Sala in May 2023, and made the arrest a short time later, charging him with violations of Texas’ labor trafficking laws. “This case is a huge win for TABC’s Special Investigations Unit and our task force partners,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Stopping labor trafficking and human trafficking is a top priority for this agency, and we will continue to work tirelessly to identify these suspected traffickers and bring them to justice.” Diaz Sala remains in custody at the Dallas County Jail. The name of the involved business will be disclosed once a related TABC investigation is complete. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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May 22, 2023

TABC prepares to ensure public safety over Memorial Day weekend

AUSTIN — As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is ramping up its efforts to promote public safety and encourage responsible alcohol sales and service. TABC law enforcement officers will conduct operations across Texas throughout Memorial Day weekend, which coincides with graduation ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations at schools throughout the state. Those operations will include open and undercover inspections to deter violence and the overservice of alcoholic beverages and will also include underage compliance operations (UCOs) to identify businesses selling alcohol to persons under 21. Additionally, agents from TABC’s Targeted Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) Unit will be available to respond to alcohol-related emergencies such as DWI crashes, assaults, and more. Businesses caught violating the state’s alcohol laws could face a fine or temporary suspension of their license to sell alcohol. During the month of May 2022, TABC agents conducted more than 2,800 inspections, finding a total of 112 violations resulting in 76 administrative cases. “Texans across the state will be kicking off their summer during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and it’s our goal to ensure they can celebrate safely,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “While we hope businesses will voluntarily comply with state law, as most usually do, we want all Texans to know that TABC will have resources in place to deter unsafe practices, respond to emergencies, and hold violators accountable. We expect a safe and successful holiday for the vast majority of the businesses we serve.” Anyone wishing to report a possible violation at TABC-licensed businesses may do so by visiting and clicking on the File a Complaint button. Complaints can also be submitted to TABC by email at or by calling 1-888-THE-TABC. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Director of Communications (512) 206-3462

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May 16, 2023

TABC arrests two for alleged illegal alcohol sales at Dallas-area BYOB bar

AUSTIN — A joint operation between the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and the Dallas Police Department has resulted in the arrest of two Dallas-area women for selling alcohol without a license at a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) establishment. TABC agents arrested Irma Lillian Medina, 30, and Lixy Dariely Juarez Miralda, 20, on May 6 after they allegedly sold alcohol without a license while working at El Patron Sports Bar & Billiards, located at 10571 Denton Drive in Dallas. The business, which operates as a BYOB location, does not hold an active TABC license or permit to sell alcohol. El Patron had been operating as a BYOB business since October 2022, when it lost its license to sell alcohol following a TABC investigation into allegations of subterfuge and violent incidents on the premises. Businesses can operate as BYOB without a TABC license; however, Texas law prohibits alcohol from being sold, and distributors of alcoholic beverages may not make deliveries to businesses that do not have a TABC license. The joint operation that led to Medina’s and Miralda’s arrest began in April after TABC received reports that alcohol was being sold at the unlicensed business. The resulting investigation confirmed the illegal sales at El Patron and revealed that much of the illegal alcohol was being stored at a neighboring bar. That alcohol, which included dozens of cases of malt beverages and several bottles of distilled spirits, was seized by TABC agents following the investigation. “A TABC license is more than permission to sell alcohol. It’s proof that a business has been vetted as meeting the state’s requirements to operate safely and responsibly,” said TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham. “Selling alcohol without a license is not only illegal, but it also places the public at risk of alcohol-related incidents such as DWI, assaults, or worse. More than that, it’s also unfair to the thousands of Texas businesses who obey the law and obtain the necessary license to legally sell alcohol.” Selling alcohol without a license is a violation of Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §§11.01 and 61.01, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of between $100-$1,000. Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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April 6, 2023

TABC joins Gov. Abbott’s 'One Pill Kills' campaign to raise awareness of fentanyl dangers

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has joined Gov. Greg Abbott’s “One Pill Kills” campaign helping Texans recognize the dangers of fentanyl poisoning. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid used by medical professionals to treat severe pain. Illicitly made versions of the drug have entered the illegal drug market, putting lives at risk. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl, lethal doses of which can be found in cocaine, heroin, counterfeit prescription pills, and other narcotics. As regulators of the state’s alcoholic beverage industry, TABC will work with alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to help them recognize the signs of fentanyl poisoning. The agency will provide educational materials to each of the more-than 60,000 TABC-licensed businesses throughout the state, and TABC Enforcement agents will continue to investigate locations where illegal narcotics are found or sold. STATEMENT FROM THOMAS GRAHAM, TABC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: “Texas’ alcohol retailers are already trained to recognize the signs of intoxication and to provide help for customers at risk of alcohol poisoning. It’s our hope that retailers will continue to help by training their staff to recognize signs of a fentanyl overdose and calling for medical help when lives may be at risk. By working together, we can save lives and reduce the impact of this deadly drug.” For more information about the “One Pill Kills” campaign, visit: To view TABC’s fentanyl awareness tip sheet and other resources for alcohol retailers, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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April 3, 2023

Annual TABC spring break compliance operations find 127 violations

AUSTIN — A series of covert inspections by agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found that 93% of businesses operated in full compliance with the law during the busy spring break season. In all, TABC agents conducted 1,726 underage compliance operations during the agency’s annual spring break enforcement roundup, finding 127 instances of businesses selling alcohol to people under 21. This year’s results mark an improvement from last year’s operation, which found a compliance rate of 91%. The annual operation attempts to identify businesses selling alcohol to minors at popular spring break vacation spots such as South Padre Island as well as festival locations in Austin and Houston. This year’s results show that most businesses are continuing to take their role in promoting safe and responsible alcohol service seriously, TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Texas’s alcohol retailers are our most important partners when it comes to protecting communities from the dangers of underage alcohol consumption,” Graham said. “It comes as no surprise that most of the businesses we visited continued to do the right thing by training staff and putting policies in place to prevent unnecessary risks related to illegal alcohol sales.” This year’s spring break operation included covert inspections, high-visibility inspections at popular vacation destinations, and partnerships with businesses to help identify customers using fake IDs to purchase alcohol, Graham added. “Spring break is obviously one of the busiest times for retailers across the state, which is why it’s important that retailers continue to do their part to keep their communities safe,” he said. “We’re all extremely grateful to our industry partners for helping us ensure Texans can enjoy the season safely and responsibly.” Businesses found selling alcohol to minors could face administrative penalties such as a fine or temporary suspension of their liquor license. Employees found selling alcohol to minors could also face a misdemeanor criminal charge resulting in a fine or up to one year in jail. For more information about TABC, visit Media contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462

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