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TABC Certification Online News: TABC runs sting operation at NIOSA in San Antonio

May 19, 2014
Police car blue lights

We broach the topic of TABC sting operations lightly in our TABC certification online course, but I usually get asked about them in more detail when teaching an on-site TABC certification course at local restaurants and bars here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In my humble opinion, there are two things you, as a seller-server of alcohol, need to know about TABC sting operations: (1) The TABC conducts sting operations all the time, and (2) They are not trying to trick you or fool you into breaking the law … If you do your job right and follow the law, then you have absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

TABC agents recently conducted a sting operation at NIOSA, the largest historic preservation festival in the United States, which takes place in San Antonio. What’d they find? That two out of six vendors sold alcohol to the minor, even after looking at the minor’s valid Texas ID that showed them to be under 21. Yep, that’s right … These vendors looked at a real under-21 Texas ID and sold alcohol to the minor anyway. It’s mind numbing.

That’s the thing about sting operations … The TABC is absolutely NOT trying to fool you. They don’t lie to you, and neither does the minor. In fact, if a minor working with the TABC as part of a sting operation were to be asked verbally if they were 21 or older, they are required to tell the truth. They are also required to use a real Texas ID during the sting. This often throws off the seller-server, because they assume the person is 21 since the minor is willing to hand over their ID, but that’s an incorrect assumption that can get you in a world of trouble.
What does this mean? It means all you have to do is ask for the ID and examine it correctly. It’s not difficult.
TABC On The Fly is an official, state-approved provider of on-site and online TABC certification.
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