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TABC Announces Back-To-School Undercover Operations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will conduct undercover operations throughout August and September as tens of thousands of college and university students return to class across the state. The procedures will identify retailers who illegally sell alcohol to persons under 21.

The undercover operations, known as minor stings, will occur at thousands of alcohol retailers in communities near major colleges or universities. During the process, a minor-aged person will attempt to purchase alcohol at a TABC-licensed retail location. The business and its employees could face administrative and criminal charges if the sale is successful.

The stings will occur at various retailers, including bars, restaurants, convenience stores, and liquor stores. Any location which sells alcohol for on-premise or off-premise consumption could be in operation, according to TABC Executive Chief Robert Saenz.

“Our retailers take the lead in preventing alcohol from falling into the hands of minors,” said Saenz. “This year, as in years past, we’re urging all retailers to make sure their employees have the tools they need to ensure anyone who purchases alcohol is of legal age to do so.”

During last year’s back-to-school operation, TABC agents went undercover at 1,337 retail locations and found that more than 90 percent complied with the law. Over the past 12 months, agents conducted 12,327 minor stings, finding 1,333 violations for a total compliance rate of 89 percent. Of those operations, 2,380 were at on-premise locations such as bars or restaurants, finding 424 violations. The remaining 9,947 stings targeted off-premise retailers such as convenience stores and found 909 violations.

They will announce the results of this year’s back-to-school stings following the conclusion of operations in late September.