TABC: More than 93 percent compliance with anti-underage drinking laws

Recent undercover operations by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission have found that more than 93 percent of alcohol retailers are successfully preventing the sale of alcohol to minors.

The finding comes following a recent TABC effort to conduct underage compliance operations timed to coincide with Spring Break. During the operations, a minor aged 18 or younger enters an alcohol retailer under the supervision of TABC and attempts to purchase alcohol using their legitimate state-issued ID. If the sale takes place, the TABC agents notify the retailer of the violation. Selling alcohol to a minor could result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction for the employee making the sale, as well as possible fines or other administrative penalties for the business.

During this year’s statewide operation, TABC agents conducted a total of 1,726 underage compliance operations along travel corridors leading to popular Spring Break locations, finding 132 violations. Agents conducted a further 287 compliance operations in and around South Padre Island, finding 14 violations.

“These results are actually a near three-percent improvement over last year’s operations, even though we increased the overall number of compliance checks,” said Robert Saenz, TABC Deputy Executive Director for Enforcement. “Underage drinking has proven consequences in terms of a minor’s health, academic standing, and development. We’re grateful to the retailers who are taking the important step of training their employees and staff on the warning signs of underage drinking.”

The Spring Break operations were a small part of TABC’s overall strategy of underage compliance operations in Texas. During the last 12 months, TABC agents conducted a total of 13,452 operations statewide, finding a total of 1,454 violations for an average compliance rate of 89 percent.

For more information about TABC and its mission, visit www.tabc.texas.gov.

Businesses cited during the operation will be listed on the TABC Public Inquiry website (https://tabc.texas.gov/PublicInquiry/Default.aspx) as their cases are settled.