The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates every aspect of the alcoholic beverage industry in the state. Duties of the Commission include permitting and licensing, regulating sales, taxation, manufacturing, importing, transporting, and regulating advertising of alcoholic beverages.
Restaurants, bars, liquor stores and many other businesses must have a license to sell alcohol in Texas. The application process can often be time consuming and complicated. The Commission says it takes approximately 45 to 60 days to obtain a permit. The time frame can vary depending on the type of license applied for and the certification required by local government. Obtaining the appropriate licenses and training employees to adhere to all the various regulations associated with the sale of alcohol can cost a significant amount of money.
It is critical that you take formal complaints filed with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission seriously right from the start. Even if you think there's no basis for such a complaint, you need to do everything you can to make sure the complaint is dismissed. Otherwise, your license to sell alcoholic beverage could be in jeopardy.
Disciplinary Action Against Your Alcohol License
TABC has the authority to take disciplinary action against any license or permit it issues. Violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, if proven, can lead the Commission to cancel or suspend an alcoholic beverage license or permit.
In determining the appropriate sanctions for violations of the Code, the Commission is required to consider the following:
- The type of license or permit held by the person who committed the violation;
- The type of violation;
- Any aggravating or ameliorating circumstances concerning the violation; and
- The license or permit holder's previous violations of the Code.
- 5.362(c). The Standard Penalty Chart suggests cancellation of a license/permit, suspension, or a fine, depending on the specific facts of the alleged violation.
Further, pursuant to the requirements of the Alcoholic Beverages Code, the Commission adopted a schedule of sanctions that may be imposed on a license or permit holder for violations of the Code or rules adopted by the Commission. The schedule of sanctions and penalties can be viewed here.
Pursuant to the Alcoholic Beverage Code, the Commission is required to "track, on a statewide and regional basis, the type of violations detected, the disposition of the violations, and the entities that committed the most serious violations." § 5.361(c). The Commission is to use this information to "compile detailed statistics and analyze trends related to its enforcement activities." § 5.361(d).
Enforcement of Texas state laws regarding alcohol, the Alcoholic Beverage Code, and the rules and regulations adopted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is taken very seriously.
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.
The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP know how to build a compelling case to protect your alcohol license - and your livelihood. If you have received a TABC complaint, we can help. We have successfully helped clients resolve a wide range of complicated legal matters involving license defense. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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