The Texas Liquor License Complaint Process and How to Avoid It

BarMaintaining a Texas alcoholic beverage license requires strict adherence to the regulations and requirements of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, more commonly referred to as TABC. Consumers can file complaints against restaurants, bars, stores and nightclubs that fail to comply with TABC rules. Common violations include the following:

  • The sale of alcoholic beverages to minors
  • Engaging in illegal activities that may include drug use, gambling or prostitution
  • Over-serving customers or selling alcohol to intoxicated patrons or customers
  • Selling alcohol without a TABC permit
  • Serving non-members with alcoholic beverages inside a private club

These violations can result in the loss of the Texas liquor license held by the individual or company. Depending on the severity and type of the offense, the individuals responsible may also face criminal prosecution for their actions.

Filing a Complaint with TABC

TABC offers residents of Texas a variety of ways to file a complaint against individuals and establishments that violate the agency’s regulations.

  • The TABC mobile application allows convenient access to the complaint center on the go. Designed to work with most Android smartphones, this app makes it easy to report violations quickly for the most effective response by the agency.
  • E-mail complaints can be submitted to complaints@tabc.state.tx.us for review by TABC staff members.
  • Residents and guests to the state of Texas can also fill out a form for mailing, faxing or personal delivery. The form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF for optimal convenience and compatibility.

The TABC website provides address and fax number information for those interested in filing a complaint. It also allows residents and guests to identify the closest TABC office for in-person delivery.

Making an Anonymous Complaint

In some cases, Texas residents and visitors may be intimidated or frightened to make a liquor license complaint against a particular individual or business. This is especially true for those employed by companies that violate liquor license regulations or for those who live in close proximity to these businesses. The repercussions to these whistle-blowers can be serious and may include the loss of their jobs or threats against themselves or their families. The TABC allows for anonymous complaints to provide added protection for these Texas residents and advises those who wish to remain anonymous to provide only their personal email address to the agency. Personal email addresses are considered confidential under the Public Information Act and will not be released to the public upon request.

Staying on the Right Side of the Law

Texas establishments must maintain their liquor license in good standing to sell alcoholic beverages within the state. These bars, restaurants and stores can promote compliance with TABC regulations in a number of ways:

  • Educating servers and cashiers regarding potential violations of the liquor license code, including over-serving customers and setting a cut-off point for patrons in the restaurant and bar environment
  • Requiring identification from all customers who appear to be under the age of 30 to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors
  • Maintaining a clean and legal environment throughout the store or establishment premises to avoid legal entanglements and ensure full compliance with TABC rules
  • If complaints do occur, resolving them quickly and effectively is the best way to retain the right to sell alcoholic beverages in the state of Texas.

Working with a professional Houston liquor license service can provide added help for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and stores that sell alcoholic beverages in Texas. These experienced consultants can offer assistance in setting up employee training plans, establishing ground rules and navigating the liquor license permit process. By enlisting the help of these knowledgeable professionals, businesses in Houston and the surrounding communities can ensure full compliance with TABC and can avoid the stress and inconvenience of complaints against their establishments.

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