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T.A.B.C. makes sure local bars prepare for return of college student crowds

Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 22:44:56-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — It’s back-to-school season here in The Brazos Valley.

Many college students are preparing to head back to the classroom and back to the bars.

Bar owners and employees are prepared for the influx of young college students coming through their doors in the next few weeks, taking a sense of urgency to make sure a drink doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

That’s where the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (T.A.B.C.) comes in.

“Around this time of the year is that we have agents fan out across the state and go to Bryan/College Station where there is a large university presence," said Chris Porter, T.A.B.C. spokesperson. "We’ll make sure agents are able to identify any businesses that might be conducting improper alcohol sales such as those to individuals under 21.”

The T.A.B.C. has conducted over 54,000 underage compliance inspections across the state with an 86 percent compliance rate. Brazos County has the highest compliance rate in Texas said Porter.

“In Brazos County there is about a 94 percent compliance rate overall, so Bryan/College Station is actually doing better than most of the state which means good things for the bars and nightclubs that operate in the city they know what to do and are continuing to do the right thing around these busy times," said Porter.

Bar service managers like Hannah Fisher said she and her crew watch people try to pull a fast one all the time, but Fisher’s employees aren’t buying it.

“We have definitely buckled down; we have had a lot of people give us fake IDs or given us IDs that are out of date or hand us real IDs that say they are 19 – they are trying but we are catching it," said Fisher.

Fisher said she wants her fellow bartending community to keep their eyes open in this busy season and remember one thing when it comes to those trying to break the law.

“This is your bar - own it. You got to follow my rules whenever it comes to my bar," said Fisher.

According to the T.A.B.C. establishments that aren’t in compliance could face fines up to $4,000 for businesses, criminal charges, and/or a liquor license suspension.