Employees at four San Marcos businesses could face criminal charges and the businesses could face administrative penalties for selling alcohol to minors after San Marcos Police conducted a “minor sting” operation to check compliance by local merchants with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
The San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) announced the sting operation in advance on April 19.
Charges are pending against employees of a big box store, two bars and a convenience store for violations of state law. The cases are being reviewed before warrants will be sought.
On April 29, San Marcos police officers working with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission checked 14 establishments for compliance with laws prohibiting alcohol sales to people younger than age 21.
Officer Jesse Saavedra, a member of the Support Services Unit assigned to the downtown district led the operation for SMPD. Saavedra worked with local TABC agents to ensure the sting was conducted by their standards.
The operation was designed to provide the merchants an opportunity to verify their compliance or non-compliance when denying or making alcoholic beverage sales to under age clients.
“Several undercover San Marcos police officers were used to observe designated 18-year-olds while they went into area bars, restaurants and convenience stores to buy alcohol,” SMPD Commander Penny Dunn said. “They used valid Texas IDs clearly indicating they were not of age to purchase alcoholic beverages.”
The teenagers were sold alcoholic beverages at four locations in San Marcos. Criminal charges are pending on the employees who sold the alcoholic beverages to the minors and administrative proceedings are pending on the licensed owner of the businesses.
Sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000, confinement up to a year in jail, or both. Penalties for businesses are determined by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Businesses have the right to request administrative hearings.Email | Print