TABC: Illegal alcohol sales on social media a growing problem

The TABC is warning parents there is a growing problem with online alcohol sales and liquor falling into the wrong hands.

BRYAN, Texas - A stroll through sites like Facebook and Craigslist show booze that's up for grabs. But what's for sale could be a crime. 

"What the law says in Texas is that anyone who sells alcohol must first have a permit issued by the state," said Chris Porter, the public information officer for the TABC. 

Many people who post alcohol for sale on social media and other sites don't have a license. And it's a growing problem. 

"A lot of people will report to TABC that they've seen these types of things happen and they send screenshots to the agency or to the local police department," said Porter. 

If you sell alcoholic beverages online, your bar tab could be a misdemeanor. 

The reason for the crack down is because alcohol sales have sales tax regulations and because the TABC wants to keep alcohol from minors. 

"One of the things we are most concerned about is that the people that are purchasing this alcohol through social media may not be of legal age to consume it," said Porter. 

Brian Gutierrez, a local attorney, says selling to a minor could bring on more problems for a seller. 

"Number one, it's a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine," he said. 

It can also result in the seller losing their drivers license for six months and a civil case. 

It's a trend Gutierrez says will continue. 

"It's the same game just different platform," he said. "If minors or people can get the drug they want, like alcohol, a way that's easier, whether it's online or through an app, it's going to happen."

The TABC says legitimate alcohol sellers don't sell through social media. The agency also recommends visiting stores in person to purchase alcohol. 

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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