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Youth indicate that they can easily obtain alcohol from both commercial and social sources. In some cases, a minor may approach an adult outside of a retail establishment and offer them money to purchase alcohol. Research conducted in 2007, showed that eight percent of adults approached by minors agreed to purchase them alcohol.
In an effort to curb this practice, TABC conducts Shoulder Tap Stings. Under direct supervision of TABC Agents working in an undercover capacity, a minor decoy will approach (tap on shoulder) an adult outside a retail establishment and offer money to purchase alcohol. If the adult agrees, the minor will give money to the adult to pay for the alcoholic beverages.
The minor will advise the adult that he or she is not old enough to buy alcoholic beverages and will offer to give the adult money to purchase the alcoholic beverages for him/her. The minor will not represent himself to be 21 years of age or older, nor will he misrepresent his age in any way. Upon successful completion of a transaction, the minor will immediately return to the undercover vehicle and turn the alcoholic beverages over to one of the cover agents.
The adult making the purchase will be approached by TABC agents and cited for making alcohol available to a minor, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or up to a $4,000 fine. (Section 106.06 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code)