The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s (TNABC) Law Enforcement Division works hard making sure Tennessee liquor licensees are compliant with regulations and ensuring that they are adhering to laws that prevent the sale of alcohol to underage buyers. In June, in addition to their normal duties in monitoring the state, there were two major music festivals in which they took part. They also conducted an investigative operation regarding direct shipping sales of alcohol in the state. Below are the results of their efforts.
839 inspections of liquor licensees were conducted. Of those, 76 regulatory citations were issued resulting in fines of $86,850.
140 Minor Compliance Checks were conducted. These involve participants 18-20 who are working under cover with the TNABC. The operation is not a means to “trick” licensees and servers. Participants use their own real driver’s licenses when trying to make a purchase. They are instructed to give their actual age and/or birth date when asked, and to answer “no” if asked if they are over 21. Of the 140 checks, licensees sold to participants 28 times, resulting in 28 administrative citations and $63,000 in fines for the establishments plus 28 criminal citations for the individuals responsible. This is an 80% compliance rate. In addition, for 6 of the 28 who failed the compliance check, it was their 2nd offense in 90 days.
TNABC Law Enforcement officers also worked with other state and local law enforcement agencies to monitor 76 bars and point-of-sale operations of alcohol being sold at the CMA Festival. All were compliant.
At the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, TNABC Law Enforcement Officers were the only uniformed officials to work the event. They checked 339 servers who were all compliant and conducted 28 minor compliance checks with 7 who sold, resulting in a 75% compliance rate. They also checked 512 ID’s and found 8 to be fake.
Finally, as part of a Direct Shopping investigation, they ordered wine online using an underage decoy to receive the shipment. Three out of four of the shipments were delivered to the underage recipient resulting in administrative citations to the shipper and a summons being issued to the drivers involved.
MADD Tennessee appreciates the efforts of this agency to prevent underage drinking and monitor those that sell alcohol to help prevent over-serving which can lead to impaired driving. Click here for more about the TNABC including how to file a complaint against an establishment you believe may be breaking the law.