TABC Certification Protects Your Business From Fines
Section 106.14 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code states that in the case
of sale or service of an alcoholic beverage to a minor, intoxicated person or a
person who is not a member of a private club on the club premises ...."the
actions of an employee shall not be attributable to the employer"... IF:
(1) THE EMPLOYER REQUlRES ITS EMPLOYEES TO ATTEND A COMMISSION APPROVED
SELLER TRAINING PROGRAM
(2) THE EMPLOYEE HAS ACTUALLY ATTENDED A TRAINING PROGRAM
(3) THE EMPLOYER HAS NOT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ENCOURAGED THE EMPLOYEE TO
VIOLATE THE LAW.
This means if all employees of a licensee or permittee who sell, serve,
prepare, and/or directly manage those who sell, serve, and prepare alcoholic
beverages have been seller trained and certified as such by the Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission, penalties relating to violations of these laws will be
taken against the person selling or serving and not the business.
This relief will be available if:
These employees, including their immediate
managers are currently seller/server certified.
The person selling or serving has a current
The management has posted policies and
procedures prohibiting sales to minors and intoxicated persons and the
employees read and understand them.
The person selling is not the owner or an
officer of the licensee or permittee.
Management has not in any way encouraged these
There are not more than two of these type
violations within a twelve month period. If the violations result in
injury or death then TABC will probably go for cancellation of your license
even if you meet the above requirements.
In addition, the employer must abide by the requirements set forth in
Chapter 50 of the TABC Rules. This relief is commonly referred to as "safe
harbor." If an illegal sale is made, the seller/server will most probably
be arrested, but the retailer's permit/license will have protection from
administrative action by the TABC.
TABC Certification and Alcohol Liability Lawsuits
If one of your employees sells alcohol to someone who is already showing
signs of intoxication and that person causes personal injury or property damage
to someone else, the parties who are harmed may have legal grounds to sue to
collect damages from your business.
Over the past several years, alcohol liability lawsuits in Texas that have
been settled both in and out of court have included attempts to collect damages
from alcoholic beverage licensees for everything from auto accidents, teen
pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, rape and fights.
If your business is sued in an alcohol related lawsuit, your business is
afforded its greatest protection if all your employees are TABC Certified.
What Else Can I Do To Protect My Business?
Your best defense in addition to TABC Certification is to obtain alcohol
liability insurance and to keep written records documenting how your business
responds to problem situations. This gives you a factual written record if
questions arise at a later date!
What Goes On In a TABC Certification Class?
When your employees attend a TABC approved alcohol seller-server training
program they spend hours learning about the laws of Texas that directly affect
them. They learn that they may face criminal charges for selling alcohol to a
minor or intoxicated person or for violating other provisions of the TABC Code
and the possible penalties, and that they may be sued for civil damages that
They also learn basic facts about alcohol, how to check identification for
validity, how to detect signs of intoxication and how and when to intervene to
refuse the sale of alcohol.
I believe the intent of the Texas Legislature in passing the law that
established seller-server training was to inform employees of their
responsibilities so that your customers may enjoy themselves while at your
establishment, as well as arrive home safely.
How do I find out if an employee or prospective employee is certified?
You can verify the certification status of any employee at the Employee
Inquiry screen located at:
You will need the employees date of birth and social security number.