TEXAS, USA — Back-to-school season means back to the bars for a lot of college students.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working to make sure those drinks don’t end up in the wrong hands.
“We're making sure people are verifying ages not selling to people under 21, as well as avoiding sales of alcohol to people who are showing signs of intoxication," said Chris Porter, spokesman for TABC.
He said the agency does this frequently and in the past year, it’s finished 5,400 inspections across the state. Ninety percent of retail stores and restaurants passed.
“In the few cases where we find a violation, we're able to hold those businesses accountable," Porter said.
That accountability comes in the form of a fine up to $4,000 for a business, criminal charges, and/or a liquor license suspension.
Both open and undercover agents will be handling the back-to-school inspections.
For an inspection, TABC sends someone known to be underage into a store to buy alcohol. If the sale goes through, that’s a violation. The other violation is selling to someone who’s already drunk.
“Look for those obvious signs of intoxication, which can include lack of reflexes, slurred speech, and red eyes," Porter said.
The agency wants to get ahead of these risks with their retailer education program. It’s free and available for any alcohol retailer in Texas.