Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

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The 5806 Mesa Drive building includes the headquarters of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC, formerly the Texas Liquor Control Board) was created in 1935. The TABC has the task of inspecting, supervising and regulating every phase of business related to alcoholic beverages. The agency is headquartered in the 5806 Mesa Drive building in Austin.[1]John Thomas Steen, Jr., the current Secretary of State of Texas, previously served as the ABC board chairman for six years.

In addition to their regulatory roles, TABC agents are fully empowered state police officers with state-wide criminal jurisdiction and may make arrests for any offense. See Cortez v. State, 738 S.W.2d 760 (Tex. App.-Austin, 1987).

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."[2]

History[edit]

TABC agents made national news for arresting customers in local hotel bars in the Dallas area. After national criticism the Texas Legislature quickly suspended the program last March pending more review.[3]
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, Chad Gibson, was hospitalized due to injuries after beaten by officers, because he was intoxicated and unable to stand under his own power.[4] Gibson spent several days in the hospital, receiving treatment for a blood clot in his brain.[5] Accusations of unnecessary brutality led to a protest outside of the Tarrant County Courthouse. Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns appeared on CBS News stating, "Rest assured the people of Fort Worth, or the government of Fort Worth, will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens."[6] An officer responded by stating that an "extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements," which warranted the arrests.[7] Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief has 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." [5]

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.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, 2 officers have died in the line of duty.[8]

Officer Date of death Details
Agent Delbert H. Pearson
Thursday, January 18, 1973
Gunfire
Agent Joseph Thomas Crews
Friday, September 21, 1979
Vehicular assault

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Contact Us." Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Retrieved on November 13, 2008.
  2. ^ "Texas police look in bars for signs of drunkenness." The Washington Times. Wednesday March 29, 2006. Retrieved on November 15, 2009.
  3. ^ Pete Slover (25 March 2006). "Lawmakers to review bar busts". 
  4. ^ Tammye Nash (28 June 2009). "Update on Chad Gibson, injured in Rainbow Lounge raid". 
  5. ^ a b "Questions linger about raid at Fort Worth gay bar | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News". Dallasnews.com. 2009-07-12. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  6. ^ "[1]." CBS 11 News.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Texas Fallen Officers". Odmp.org. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 

External links[edit]