The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will conduct a series of undercover operations throughout August and September as tens of thousands of college and university students return to class across the state. The operations will identify retailers who illegally sell alcohol to persons under 21.
The undercover operations, known as minor stings, will take place at thousands of alcohol retailers located in communities near major colleges or universities. During the operation, a minor-aged person will attempt to purchase alcohol at a TABC-licensed retail location. If the sale is successful, the business and its employees could face administrative and possible criminal charges.
The stings will take place at a variety of retailers including bars, restaurants, convenience stores and liquor stores. Any location which sells alcohol for on-premise or off-premise consumption could be included in the 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 were in compliance with the law. Over the past 12 months, agents conducted a total of 12,327 minor stings, finding a total of 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 a total of 424 violations. The remaining 9,947 stings targeted off-premise retailers such as convenience stores and found a total of 909 violations.
Results of this year’s back-to-school stings will be announced following the conclusion of operations in late September.