TABC Sting Operations to Oversee Alcohol Sales

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Extra security measures are in place on South Padre Island. The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission is making sure establishments are following the law.

Sting operations are being conducted during the spring break holiday. Lt. Mario Villarreal of the TABC is in charge of the operations.

The purpose of the stings is to find out if businesses are following the law and refusing service to underage minors.

“Today we had a minor sting in which we visited several on premise locations to make sure that they are in compliance with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code with respect to providing alcohol to minors,” he said.

Out of the 15 businesses involved in the sting, one sold liquor to the 15-year-old undercover agent. Villarreal explained what happened next.

“For a business, they are looking at an eight-day suspension of their permit or a $2,400 fine. In regards to the clerk, or the individual who made the sale or the transaction, they may be looking at a Class A misdemeanor, which in essence constitutes up to a $1,000 fine or a year in jail,” he said.

The SPI police said they made 28 arrests for public intoxication during the first three days of spring break. Cassidy Dines said she’s thankful for alcohol laws.

“I think that there are reasons why there are laws and a reason why there are rules and people should respect that. When people get hurt, or even when they have to go to the hospital, it’s because they are breaking the law,” she said.

Dines said in spite of an effort by law enforcement, some underage partiers still find ways to get a drink.

“Today I saw a girl having a hard time on the beach. So I helped her out and I know she was underage, but I mean it’s one of those things that are happening but at the same time you want to avoid it,” she said.

Dines said for her a large part of staying safe and out of trouble during spring break is being aware and making smart decisions.

Villarreal said the purpose of these sting operations isn’t to trick businesses, it’s to make sure employees and businesses follow the law and keep all of their customers safe.


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