Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
|Motto||"Service, Courtesy, Integrity, Accountability"|
|Type||Public safety organization|
|Purpose||Regulation and taxation of alcoholic beverages|
|Headquarters||5806 Mesa Drive #111
Austin, Texas 78731
|State of Texas|
|José Cuevas, Jr.|
|Governing board of three appointed commissioners|
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or TABC (formerly the Texas Liquor Control Board), is a Texas public agency responsible for regulating, inspecting and taxing the production and sale of alcoholic beverages within the state. The agency was established in 1935 and is headquartered in Austin.
Responsibilities and powers
- Grant, refuse, suspend, or cancel permits and licenses in all phases of the alcoholic beverage industry
- Supervise, inspect, and regulate the manufacturing, importation, exportation, transportation, sale, storage, distribution, and possession of alcoholic beverages
- Assess and collect fees and taxes
- Investigate for violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Code and assist in the prosecution of violators
- Seize illicit beverages
- Adopt standards of quality and approve labels and size of containers for all alcoholic beverages sold in Texas
- Pass rules to assist the agency in all of the above
In 1933 the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ended Prohibition and devolved responsibility for the regulation of alcoholic beverages to the states. Shortly thereafter, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Liquor Control Act to govern alcohol in Texas, and on 16 November 1935 the Texas Liquor Control Board was established to administer the Act. The agency's name was changed to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission on 1 January 1970, and the Liquor Control Act was superseded by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code on 1 September 1977.
Operation Last Call
In 2006, the Commission led Operation Last Call, in which persons in bars and other alcohol serving establishments were arrested for being intoxicated. Said Captain David Alexander, head of the Operation Last Call Task Force, "Going to a bar is not an opportunity to go get drunk...It's to have a good time, but not to get drunk."
Rainbow Lounge incident
On June 28, 2009, TABC officers conducted a raid on the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar in Fort Worth. Several customers were arrested for intoxication inside of the bar. One patron was hospitalized due to injuries he sustained during the arrest.  The incident occurred on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a 1969 New York riot seen as the start of the LGBT rights movement. Many Rainbow Lounge patrons were present to mark the anniversary. Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said, "It might have been helpful if the owner of the lounge had informed [officers] this day was more than just another day of the week. But at the same time, they have a job to do no matter what day of the week it is, and that job is to protect the public from people who have consumed too much alcohol."
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has completed the use of force report related to the incident at the Fort Worth Rainbow Lounge occurring on June 28, 2009. The 74-page report takes into account statements by eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, TABC employees, and Fort Worth police officers.
The TABC internal affairs investigation report included two allegations which were both unfounded:
1. Agents Chris Aller and Jason Chapman were accused of participating in a bar check operation with Fort Worth police officers on June 28, 2009, which targeted the Rainbow Lounge specifically because of the bar's gay and lesbian customer base. The allegation that the Rainbow Lounge was targeted for being a gay bar was unfounded.
2. Agents Aller and Chapman were accused of using force beyond what was necessary and reasonable during their contact with Jose Macias, George Armstrong and Chad Gibson when they were placed under arrest at the Rainbow Lounge. The allegation of excessive force was unfounded.
Since the establishment of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, two officers have died while on duty.
- "TABC The Organization". Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- See Cortez v. State, 738 S.W.2d 760 (Tex. App.-Austin, 1987).
- "TABC History". Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Texas police look in bars for signs of drunkenness". The Washington Times. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Texas Fallen Officers". Odmp.org. Retrieved 2011-01-11.