TABC set to begin annual back-to-school undercover operations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says its agents will soon be conducting inspections at businesses located near major Texas universities.

Agents will also work directly with business owners to scan IDs, such as driver licenses and state ID cards, to identify minors using false identification to buy alcohol.

During the operation, which begins in mid-August and runs through early September, minors working with TABC will enter businesses to purchase alcohol. If a sale takes place, agents enter the business to notify its managers of the violation. Agents will also join security personnel at certain businesses to help screen customers’ IDs as they enter the premises, says TABC.

The operation is part of the agency's effort to ensure alcohol is sold safely and responsibly during the busy back-to-school season. 

Over the past 12 months, agents visited hundreds of Texas retailers to curb sales of alcohol to minors and found that nearly 90% of those visited were fully complying with state alcohol laws.

Selling alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. In addition, cited businesses might have to pay a fine and have their license to sell alcohol temporarily suspended. Minors who use a false ID to purchase alcohol could face a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Businesses with questions about best practices for safe alcohol sales can contact their local TABC office to request training or educational materials.