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TABC Certification Online News: Another TABC investigation into seller-server misconduct

February 20, 2014
smashed windshield

One of the most important topics in our on-site and online TABC certification course is that of Criminal Negligence and how you, as a seller-server, can be held criminally liable if you don’t take the right steps in doing your job responsibly. Criminal Negligence occurs when “A person fails to meet a standard level of care that an ordinary person under these conditions would meet, such as checking IDs, calculating age, refusing to over-serve patrons, and looking for signs of intoxication.”

Interestingly enough, Criminal Negligence is the topic from which I get some of the most shocked and confused reactions from seller-servers when I teach an on-site TABC certification course … As if they didn’t realize they could be charged with a crime if they don’t do a good job. Just so we’re all on the same page: You can, and here’s a great example of how it happens:

In early January, a 19-year-old named Eric Grimes was charged with intoxication assault in College Station, TX after he drove drunk, struck another car, and injured multiple people in both vehicles. Here’s where the issue of Criminal Negligence comes into play: When things like this happen, the TABC always launches its own investigation to determine where the minor was served or provided alcohol. And just as the definition reads, the seller-server involved could be charged with Criminal Negligence if the investigation finds they did not meet a standard level of care. In addition, the establishment could face fines and have its liquor license suspended or revoked, which would inevitably put them out of business.

Here’s your takeaway: When you check IDs or contemplate whether a customer needs to be cut off, remember that an irresponsible decision on your part can result in a lengthy TABC investigation, you going to jail and getting fined, and your employer getting fined and possibly losing their liquor license and subsequent ability to stay open for business.

TABC On The Fly is a state-approved provider of on-site and online TABC certification in the state of Texas.

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