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Key Laws: Alcohol Sales
The sale of alcohol to minors under 21. The sale of alcohol to people who are intoxicated. The service of alcoholic beverages in private clubs to non-members.
Keys to Customer Observation
How does the person look?image What does the person do? How does the person react? How much alcohol has been purchased or consumed?
Keys to Intervention
Be Quick Be Clear Be Firm Be Consistent
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is the state agency that regulates all phases of the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. The duties of the commission include regulating sales, taxation, importation, manufacturing, transporting, and advertising of alcoholic beverages.
To report underage drinking or suspected sales to intoxicated individuals, the TABC asks that you call them directly. The number to call is: 1-888-THE-TABC (1-888-843-8222)
defined as alcohol, or any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, which is capable of use for beverage purposes, either alone or when diluted. [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 1.04 (1)]
consumption in establishments such as restaurants and bars
are also sold in packages for off-premise consumption in establishments such as convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, or liquor stores.
Examples of common alcoholic beverages are:
Beer Malt liquor Wine Wine coolers Distilled spirits Mixed drinks Cocktails
anyone who sells, serves, dispenses, or delivers alcoholic beverages for a business that is licensed to sell alcohol is considered an employee of that business. This also includes anyone who immediately manages, directs, supervises, or controls the sale or service of alcoholic beverages.
For the purposes of alcoholic beverage sales and service, a minor is defined as someone under the age of 21. You may hear the term minor occasionally used to refer to individuals that are under the age of 18. This is the case concerning tobacco sales. The sale of tobacco to “minors” is prohibited, meaning that individuals under the age of 18 may not purchase tobacco. Throughout this course, the term minor will always mean someone who is under the age of 21.
Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
To appear in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. A person that is so intoxicated that he or she could cause damage or harm to someone else must not be in public places in Texas.
A person fails to meet a standard level of care that an ordinary person under these conditions would meet, e.g. checking IDs, calculating age, refusing to over-serve patrons, and looking for signs of intoxication. Sellers and servers have certain responsibilities including checking IDs, calculating age, refusing to over serve customers, and looking for signs of intoxication. Throughout this course you will learn the standard levels of care to help prevent you from being criminally negligent.
Responsibilities of a Seller-Server
The person who actually serves, sells, or delivers the alcoholic beverage is legally responsible for the sale. Other employees (such as door people, bouncers, floorwalkers, or bartenders) can assist with checking IDs and monitoring for intoxication, but the person who serves the alcohol is legally responsible and will be the one who receives a violation.
The Risks of Breaking the Law
f you knowingly break the laws that govern alcohol sales/service, you are committing a crime. If you are found guilty, there are serious consequences. If the person who illegally gets the alcohol from you goes on to cause harm or damage, you may also be held responsible for that damage as well. Not only is it a big deal for you if you break any of the alcohol sales and service laws, it can also mean problems for your employer and for the customer. Consider the following: Your employer may be at risk of losing their license to sell alcohol. The customer may be at risk since they could be breaking the law by making an illegal purchase of alcohol.
Revoking Your Certification
Your certification as a Responsible Seller-Server can be taken away by the TABC if you are charged with breaking the laws concerning the sale of alcohol. Here are the penalties imposed by the TABC: 1st Offense: Within 30 days of the offense, you must retake a Responsible Seller-Server course and the exam to be recertified. 2nd Offense within 12 months: Certificate is revoked for 90 days. You must also retake a course and exam to be recertified. 3rd Offense within 12 months: Certificate is revoked and you cannot be recertified for one year.
If you are charged with selling alcohol to a minor or to an intoxicated person, your employer could lose their license to sell. In order for your employer’s license to be protected: The person selling / serving is not the owner or an officer of the company; The person selling / serving holds a current seller-server training certificate from a TABC approved school; All employees engaged in the sale, service, or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers are certified within 30 days of their hire date; The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and consumption and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies; The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law. Meeting these criteria is commonly referred to as “safe harbor.” If an illegal sale is made, the seller-server might be arrested, but the company’s permit / license may be protected.
If one violation takes place: Criminal action may be taken again the employee; The owner or manager may be required to complete an affidavit stating that they have met all the requirements; The owner or manager will be required to provide the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of all employees so that the affidavit can be verified. TABC will verify the certification of the employees. If any one of these elements is missing, the company is not protected.
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