Undercover Stings Useful to TABC to Catch Alcohol Violators - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Undercover Stings Useful to TABC to Catch Alcohol Violators

Almost one out of every five bars, restaurants or liquor stores in Lubbock will likely be cited for an alcohol violation, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) does everything it can to put a stop to the action. NewsChannel 11 takes a look at how the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission goes undercover to make sure restaurants, bars and anyone who sells alcohol is obeying state laws.

The setting; a minor walks into a liquor store, grabs a six pack of beer and takes it to the register.

"That's 4.89," says the cashier. That's a scene from a TABC minor sting in Dallas County. The minor had no problem walking into a neighborhood liquor store and leaving, no questions asked.

In Lubbock, TABC officers conduct such stings once every month. TABC Enforcement Division officer, Lt. Harry Schreffler said, "In stings, we're not trying to trick anyone, we're trying to find places selling to minors on a normal basis."

Schreffler says that's why they choose minors who look their age. All volunteers are under 18. In the minor sting video, an officer said, "Sometimes we focus on an area that's received a number of complaints from the community."

Generally, officers sting around six places a night. Some because of complaints, theirs at random. The minors are told to show their real ID, but here's what's surprising. "Many times, they'll look at the ID and the birthday, but for some reason it doesn't register how old they are," said Schreffler.

The penalty for serving to a minor or to someone who is already intoxicated is up to two years in jail and a $4,000 fine.

S.A.V.E. Class Helps Reduce Alcohol Violations
The TABC is targeting businesses that violate the rules of selling alcohol. In Lubbock, 76% of the bars and liquor stores comply with liquor laws, that's 4% below the state average. One local bar learned first hand what can happen.

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