TABC Certification Protects Your Business
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
(2) THE EMPLOYEE HAS ACTUALLY ATTENDED A TRAINING
(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
- The person selling is not the owner or an
officer of the licensee or permittee.
- Management has not in any way encouraged
these type sales.
- 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
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
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
You will need the employees date of birth and
social security number.