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TABC says it will shut down bars, revoke licenses if they remain open despite Gov. Abbott’s closure order

'We have no tolerance for licensees who are in violation,' TABC Executive Director says

Alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic drinks (Pexels)

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced Friday that their biggest challenge is handling businesses that are failing to comply with the Governor Abbott’s executive order and remain open, forcing the commission to continue revoking alcohol licenses.

“When a business tells TABC it doesn’t intend to follow these orders, you leave the agency with no option but to revoke your license and shut you down,” TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles said in his letter.

Signed into law on June 26, Abbott’s order shut down bars and other businesses in the state that derive 51% or more of their revenue from alcohol sales in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Before Abbott’s order went into effect, bars in the state were able to operate at 50% capacity.

According to a statement from Nettles, agents have continued to enforce the governor’s executive order and are working with stakeholders to develop a plan for businesses — including breweries, wineries and distilleries — to open while still in compliance.

However, the biggest problem the industry faces, Nettles said in an open letter to license holders, is “industry members who choose to operate in violation of the governor’s executive order.”

“While progress has been made, many challenges remain,” Nettles said in a statement. “The biggest challenge I see lies with industry members who choose to operate in violation of the governor’s executive order. Recently, we have spoken with business owners who tell us they don’t intend to follow the orders. On that note, I want to remind every member of this industry that it is a privilege to be in the alcoholic beverage business in Texas. Not everyone who wants to be in this industry qualifies to do so under the strict requirements imposed by the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Once in business, the Texas Legislature has chosen to regulate this industry to protect the health and safety of our fellow Texans.”

According to Nettles, TABC agents will be out in communities across Texas this weekend, just like every other weekend, enforcing the law. He urges license holders to ensure patrons are complying with social distancing and face mask requirements.

“While TABC is here to help, we have no tolerance for licensees who are in violation,” Nettles said in his letter.

Read the full announcement by TABC below:

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