Customers can report violations with new TABC app - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Customers can report violations with new TABC app

Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video

Texas Tech students are back in the hub city, which means the bars and restaurants near campus will be filled this weekend.

But while students head out to celebrate the beginning of the school year, officials with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are stepping up enforcement in new ways.

TABC is capitalizing on the fact that most people have smart phones.

This is the first weekend the new TABC mobile app will be available as a way for the public to have direct communication with the TABC.

It's the time of year when places near campus are ready for a little business boom.

Café J bar manager Tim Hunka says summer is a slow period.

"Being down here, our whole demographic is college student, so if they're not here there's a pretty big loss," Hunka said.

But with students back in town, it is also the time of year when TABC is on high alert, as the potential for underage drinking and over serving of alcohol rises.

"We're going to be increasing our undercover operations and minor sting operations in the areas around high schools and universities throughout our region," TABC Regional Supervisor Major Mark Menn said.

But TABC can't be everywhere at all times, and that's where their new mobile app comes into play.

Users can search for TABC licensed bars or restaurants in the area. They can also file a complaint if they see a potential problem.

"They can report violations to us that we can investigate," Menn said. "This is just a way that we can stay up with current technology and provide that ease of communication that they have."

Major Mark Menn says TABC is aware local bars might not be a fan of this new app.

"We understand the reservations that our bar owners may have putting a little bit more power in the hands of the customers to report violations," Menn said. "These complaints are not going to be investigated any differently than they would by a walk in customer."

But he says the app wasn't created to disrupt business for these bars.

"We take into account that the people making the complaints might be disgruntled former employees, competing businesses, we understand that," Menn said. "I can assure them that we're going to be fair and even handed in all of these investigations."

Hunka says he doesn't think it will hurt for people to use the app.

"I hope that we don't run into any of those problems. But they do need to be made aware of people at certain bars that have problems in town, having it accessible isn't a bad thing," he said.

The TABC mobile app is available for Apple IOS and Android smart devices.

Major Mark Menn wants to remind the public that this app is not a substitute for a true emergency, as TABC is not a first responding agency.

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