Undercover TABC operation catches 131 retailers selling alcohol to minors

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In a statewide effort to enforce Texas’ underage drinking laws, TABC launched an undercover operation with which it found that 14% of the more than 1,100 retailers sold alcohol to minors.

The timing of this investigation coincides with the start of the college fall semester. During the back-to-school operation, minor-aged volunteers would enter the retail stores in an attempt to purchase alcohol while supervised by an undercover TABC agent. The efforts by TABC targeted retailers in August located in cities where colleges and universities are.

Out of the 1,131 operations conducted by the TABC, 131 violations were found, demonstrating an 86% compliance rate. According to TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham, this high compliance rate shows retailers’ efforts to keep informed of the law’s requirements. “Our state’s alcohol retailers are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the illegal sale of alcohol to minors,” Graham said. “While TABC will continue to hold violators accountable, our first goal is to serve as a resource to help educate businesses and ultimately keep them in compliance.”

Retailers cited for selling alcohol to minors may face TABC administrative actions including a civil fine and a temporary or permanent suspension of their liquor license. Individual employees who sell alcohol to minors can also face Class A misdemeanor charges.


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