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Agents looking for underage sales, COVID-19 violations

AUSTIN — Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will visit liquor stores, bars, beaches, and other locations where alcohol is sold throughout March as the agency kicks off its annual spring break public safety operations next week.

The operations identify locations where alcohol is sold to minors and intoxicated persons in violation of state law. Planned activities for 2021 include undercover operations, in which TABC agents covertly monitor business operations for compliance, as well as increased efforts to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines at bars and restaurants across the state.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol retailers across the state are pulling double duty when it comes to keeping their customers safe while ensuring compliance with health and safety guidelines,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “The goal of this operation is not to penalize retailers, but to help them understand the importance of following the law and putting the safety of their customers first.”

Before the operations, TABC auditors will contact several alcohol retailers in the most popular Spring Break destinations to provide education and answer questions about best practices for preventing the sale of alcohol to minors and intoxicated persons.

Businesses that sell alcohol to people younger than 21 could face a civil fine or suspension of their license to sell alcohol. Employees who conduct the sale could also find themselves charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.

Most of the operations will take place in and around cities with major colleges or universities and popular destinations along the Texas Gulf Coast. Other operations will occur during Spring Break to include investigating suspected organized crime such as human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering.

To learn more about TABC’s public safety efforts, visit



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