The San Marcos Police Department will join the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in April and May in a “sting” operation targeting sellers of alcoholic beverages to promote compliance with underage drinking laws.
In the next 60 days, the police department’s Specialized Services Unit, which includes the foot and bike patrol at the Outlet Malls and in the downtown district, will conduct a “minor sting,” San Marcos police Cmdr. Penny Dunn said.
This operation targets sellers of alcoholic beverages who may sell to minors. The unit is working with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). The operation will use underage adults, ages 17 to 20 old, attempting to purchase alcohol from local distributors.
“These types of programs are run annually to observe distributor compliance with state laws regarding the sale of alcohol to a minor,” Dunn said. “As required by the TABC, we are putting alcohol sellers on notice that we are initiating this enforcement effort.”
TABC routinely runs stings in university student-rich San Marcos. Sometimes they take the form of officers conducting a second check of ID cards on all patrons admitted at bars. Such an operation, dubbed “Operation Fake Out,” resulted in 17 arrests two years ago.
Last year, TABC temporarily suspended stings that use teenage decoys to snag establishments that sell to minors after an agent was accused of raping a teen girl in Bastrop. The agent, who has since resigned, is charged with sexual assault and official oppression and the stings resumed in August.