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Your Guide to Getting a Liquor License in Texas

Sarah Williams

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Sarah Williams | October 11, 2013 | 0

TABC Certification License GuideYou’re a bartender or aspiring mixologist, and thinking of exploring your options in Texas. Well, you’re in luck because it’s a golden age for Texas’s food and beverage industry.

Why? The restaurant business is generating billions of dollars in revenue and food experts are hailing it as a “hot market.” According to the Texas Restaurant Association, receipts from the Texas restaurant industry are seen to register at $40.8 billion. The report also said that the industry accounts for 10 percent of the whole Texan economy, providing 1,074,000 jobs.

What do these figures mean for you? For one, they represent the growing opportunities in the restaurant industry, the beverage sales and bartending sectors included. Another is that now is clearly the time for F & B like you to step up your game and get a piece of the action. So if you’re an alcohol seller and server, or would like to find a job as one, better take your training now! We’ve compiled the things you need to know about getting your liquor license in Texas and TABC certification.

How Important is a Liquor Permit in Texas

First things first: why do you need to acquire a liquor permit in Texas? According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), licensing provides a credibility measure for alcohol sellers and servers. To get a license, alcohol sellers and servers have to undergo a comprehensive training program that will teach them liquor laws, the rigors of selling and serving alcohol, and the consequences of offering alcoholic beverages to minors, private club non-members and intoxicated persons for sale and consumption. Permits also play a role in reducing insurance costs and fines for retailers and business owners.

Texas has two major types of permit: liquor licenses and beer licenses. You probably know by now that restaurants and clubs have to obtain permits for alcohol sales and consumption. But did you know that aircraft, convenience store, package store, passenger train operations need to be licensed too for the responsible and all the more, legal sales and service of alcohol? Did you know that you can’t hold a fundraiser or temporary event without a permit? Did you know that you can’t promote a new liquor product on behalf of the liquor manufacturer without a permit, even if you’re promoting said liquor at an alcohol-licensed premise?

Bottomline is, as long as the business operations involve selling or serving alcohol, whether permanently or for the time being, it should carry a license specific to its business type and its employees should be TABC-certified. The business operations mentioned in the previous paragraph are just some of the many types of entities that need to acquire a TABC permit. We’ll bring these licenses more into focus in our next blog posts.

It takes 45-60 days to get a liquor permit according to the TABC. For license and permit fees, check out the TABC’s two-year fee chart, which was implemented back in 2011.

What kinds of laws are associated with Liquors in Texas?

Texas liquor laws are wide-ranging and may be confusing to some. Generally, however, locals need to observe the legal limit for BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) set at 0.08, people need to be 21 years of age to consume alcohol, and 18 if employed to sell or serve. Texas also has wet and dry counties, and a combination of both, and laws concerning the local consumption and purchase of alcohol apply to these counties. Certain laws also apply to the transport of open containers, consuming alcohol on-premises and off-premises and bringing your own beverage to an establishment or event.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code contains all the information you need about Texas alcohol laws and statutes. Visit the following links to get an idea of Texas laws.

Underage Drinking: You Can’t Afford the Buzz

Direct Shipping of Wine to Texas Consumers

Public Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages

Rules Governing the Sales of Alcohol at Poker Tournaments

Bringing Beverages (Bring Your Own Beverage or BYOB) to On-Premise Establishments and Events

What are the Penalties for not Complying with the Said Laws?

The Commission imposes penalties and corrective actions for incompliance of the said laws. The severity of the punishment will depend on how grave or the number of times the offence has been committed.

For example, if an alcohol seller or server serves liquor to a minor, then he or she may face expensive, not to mention embarrassing consequences. As per TABC:

“Sale to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000, confinement up to a year in jail, or both.” (Visit the TABC’s Standard Penalty Chart page for the schedule of fees.)

Employers may not be held liable for offences if they have required workers to complete a state-approved alcohol seller/server training program, and if they have not taken part in “indirectly” or “directly” in the violation themselves. These conditions are stated in Actions of Employee, Sec. 106.14. of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

As you see, the TABC and the state of Texas in general take alcohol laws seriously. The best way to steer clear of violations is to take alcohol laws and local dram shop laws to heart during your alcohol license training. (See: Texas Administrative Hearing Process.)

What is the best way to get my license?

It depends on your availability. Offline, classroom, physical or onsite—whatever you call it—are still being offered by a number of providers across the state. However, this type of set-up may not work in favor of those who are shifting careers or who are looking at bartending or alcohol selling as a sideline. Fortunately, the prevalence of online training has allowed food and beverage professionals to obtain the job skills they need to possess to be able to perform their job competently. These days, people can take a food and beverage course, like our TABC + food handler course, in four hours and get certified within a day.

As a proponent of e-learning, we understand that your life is as busy as it is. With our courses, say goodbye to long drives to onsite classes and costly fees. Our courses have been categorized based on US jurisdictions, course titles and in-demand courses. Our website is search/user friendly as well, allowing you to search and find the courses you need to take immediately, should navigating the site be of concern.

How can I get a Texas liquor license with Learn2Serve?

Learn2Serve has dedicated pages for state-specific alcohol seller and server training which you can explore. You can opt to enroll in our TABC course or in a course package that include food handler training and other individual courses that are of use to you (e.g. Texas Getting Larger Tips, Introduction to Wine).

Take the course when you want, pass the quizzes at the end of each module, pass the final exam, and receive your certificate of course completion. Learn2Serve will process your TABC certification for you and you’ll receive it in the mail within ten days. This certification is valid for two years.

What if I lost my license?

Don’t worry; it won’t be the end of the world for you if you did. You can have your license replaced by simply getting in touch with Learn2Serve’s representatives, and they’ll take care of the rest for you. Upon losing your license, inform Learn2Serve immediately by calling our representatives at (800) 442-1149. You’ll receive your official certificates within 10 days.

Learn2Serve is your premiere leading provider for online food handler training and alcohol seller and server courses. Stay tuned for more of our guides and blog posts on industry news, trends and tips.

Alcoho Server Training Online

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