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Businesses Are Put On Notice When It Comes To Spring Break Alcohol Sales

As young people flock to the beach, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working to prevent bars and convenience stores from selling alcohol to minors. Agents have been doing sting operations in some of the Spring Break hotspots.

TABC has been doing what it calls “minor stings.” During those operations, agents observe while an underaged person attempts to buy alcohol. They’ve been doing those stings along travel corridors near college campuses. Other operations have taken place on South Padre Island and Austin’s SXSW festival.

When a violation occurs, TABC’s Chris Porter said it may be a situation where the retailer just needs additional training.

“A lot of times what we see is perhaps a clerk is too busy to do the proper checks,” explained Porter. “Or in some cases, especially for bars and nightclubs, perhaps a bartender is relying upon someone outside the door checking ID’s as they come in.”

Porter said it’s not their goal to put retailers out of business. “What we want to do is make sure they have the tools they need to prevent these kind of sales.”

TABC says about 95% of the businesses they check are in compliance. They’ve done close to 120 stings over the past week here in the Houston region and Porter said they’ve only found a handful of violations.

TABC Deputy Executive Director for Enforcement Robert Saenz said they want to ensure that any alcohol sold during the Spring Break season is done so safely and legally. They plan to continue their efforts heading into the summer months.

“TABC will continue to serve as a resource for retailers who have questions about the law and its impact on their day-to-day operations,” added Saenz.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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