The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. The TABC had a banner year in 2018. By tackling bold initiatives, the Commission redefined what it seeks to accomplish and its relationship with the alcoholic beverage industry.
The TABC attributes its 2018 success to, "the agency's proactive efforts to engage all members of the industry, implementing new initiatives and overhauling significant policy positions to address industry issues, a new program that leverages the combined power of TABC's stakeholders to end human trafficking, and major budgetary and legislative proposals to build a TABC for the 21st century."
In an effort to develop a stronger working relationship with stakeholders, the TABC hosted 12 events in 6 cities including executive summits and roundtable discussions. Through this open discourse, the Commission discovered that the Texas alcoholic beverage industry needs better educational opportunities and improved communication from the TABC.
Improved Communications and Transparency
To foster better communication, the TABC now allows the industry to request agency advisories to provide general guidance on various matters that affect stakeholders. These agency advisories will help set the standards for TABC staff and industry and help to provide fair and predictable regulation.
In 2018 the Commission also made the TABC meeting material publicly available online through a serviced called Board Docs. It also began publishing articles and a newsletter to keep the industry abreast of new rules, happenings, and other important matters.
Finally, the TABC implemented an open record processing system, allowing the public to submit open records requests directly through an online portal. Commission response time has been reduced from more than 60 days to an average of less than 10 days.
Challenges to Licenses & Permits
The TABC reversed a prior agency policy that allowed any individual or entity to challenge a license or permit issued by the Commission. Under the new rule, only certain local officials authorized in statute may protest original or renewal applications, and protests by members of the public are limited to those within 300 feet of a proposed licensed premises.
Under new leadership, the TABC is working to better serve the public and improve its relationship with the $40 billion industry it regulates.
Defending Against Alleged TABC Violations
If you are being accused of violating the Alcoholic Beverage Code or a TABC rule, we urge you to consult with an experienced license defense attorney immediately. Your business may be at risk of having its alcohol license revoked or suspended.