AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has begun its annual push to crack down on retailers who sell alcohol to minors during the busy back-to-school season.

The operation begins this week and continues throughout September. During that time, TABC agents will conduct undercover operations at alcohol retailers located near major colleges and universities across the state. During the operations, undercover TABC agents use minors to attempt to purchase alcohol. If a sale takes place, TABC agents enter the business to notify its managers of the violation.

TABC regularly conducts underage compliance operations in communities across Texas. During the past 12 months, agents conducted more than 11,200 operations statewide, finding a total of 1,234 violations for a total compliance rate of nearly 90 percent.

“Allowing minors to purchase and consume alcohol is a serious threat to public safety and can lead to tragic consequences such as vehicle crashes, assaults, or alcohol poisoning,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “TABC is committed to working with alcohol retailers ahead to time to ensure they have the knowledge and resources they need to prevent these violations before a tragedy occurs.”

Selling alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail. In addition, businesses cited by TABC for selling alcohol to minors could be required to pay a fine and may have their license to sell alcohol temporarily suspended.

Results of this year’s back-to-school operations will be announced in early October.

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