TABC Lubbock Region begins undercover minor stings - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TABC Lubbock Region begins undercover minor stings

Source: Caleb Holder Source: Caleb Holder
Source: Caleb Holder Source: Caleb Holder

As college students return to the Hub City, TABC has begun undercover operations, checking to make sure minors can't buy alcohol at local bars and liquor stores.

The stings take place at retailers in cities where major colleges and universities are located, like Texas Tech.

While bars and restaurants are among the targeted businesses, The TABC Lubbock Region focused on grocery, liquor and convenience stores on Wednesday.

The undercover officers began their stings around 4:45 p.m., once the minor was picked up from school.

The minor has to be 18 years or younger, and their youth cannot be questionable. They also cannot be a regular at any location of the sting. Male minors, such as in this case, cannot even be large in stature or have facial hair.

The officers drove to nearly 20 locations with this minor and took him inside, where he would select a beer and place it on the counter with money and not lie about his age.

All the locations denied him right away on Wednesday, so he left each building just minutes later.

If this minor was to buy a beer, he would need leave the building and hand it to an undercover officer. Then the officers would have to stay behind to serve administrative or possibly criminal charges.

The minor should be willing and able to testify at those proceedings.

With so many stings in one day, officers said it's not uncommon to see an undercover minor get away with at least one purchase.

Chief Robert Saenz, the TABC Director of Field Operations released this statement about the statewide stings:

"The back-to-school period can be a very busy time, both for students and alcohol retailers. As in the past, we encourage retailers to take a little extra time to help their employees learn the best practices necessary to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors. Our retailers are the first line of defense against preventable tragedies such as alcohol-related vehicle accidents, injuries and loss of life."

Businesses found selling alcohol to minors could face multiple punishments, such as a civil penalty or a suspension of their alcohol license or permit.

Selling alcohol to a person under 21 is a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

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