As students across the state were gearing up to enjoy their spring break, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission was working to prevent alcohol sales to underage customers.

The TABC performs focused alcohol sting operations throughout the state, specifically along major routes of travel and entertainment districts likely to be frequented by underage kids who might try to purchase alcohol during spring break.

Local TABC licensed businesses are selected by TABC field officers based on their location, violation history, and other risk factors.

Once identified, the TABC personnel visit each location to warn employees and managers of the potential risk of selling to underage patrons, and also offer advice and training to reduce the likelihood of illegal sales.

In Texas, selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 is a Class A Misdemeanor, which can result in a $4,000 fine, up to a year in jail for the seller, and a suspension of their employer’s permit to sell alcohol.

More than 90 sting operations were carried out in Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, San Angelo, Midland, and Odessa. Each of the businesses received notice of the increased scrutiny.

Out of those locations, only three sold alcohol to TABC volunteer minors.

“Such a high compliance rate, about 97 percent in this case, is what we strive for,” said Captain Mark Minn, TABC’s West Texas District supervisor. “Our goal in such operations is not merely to catch violators, but to prevent and deter such violations in the first place. Numbers in this recent operation seem to bear that out.”

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