The Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission regulates the sale of wine and liquor in Tennessee. It also has an enforcement division. The Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC) has over thirty investigators. Besides granting licenses, they also look for violations of the law. Underage drinking and the sale of alcohol to those that are already intoxicated are the primary focus of their investigations.
The ABC is given grant money from the Governors Highway Safety Office to conduct stings. A sting is usually accomplished by using someone under 21 to try to purchase a beer or a drink. An agent is in tow and often these stings are video recorded. If a violation occurs, a criminal citation or an arrest of the server or bartender will take place. Later, the ABC will issue a citation to appear before the ABC on the issue of a revocation of their ABC license. It may even include a referral to the local beer board. It is serious business to the owner of the bar or restaurant. A couple of citations may lead to a revocation of your ABC permit or your beer permit.
Once the ABC has learned of a violation, they must go back to the permit holder’s business to conduct another sting pursuant to the grant. The bottom line is once you violate the law you begin a target for a follow up visit.
In Nashville, the criminal offense of selling alcohol to a minor can often times be handled successfully. The bigger issue is the Nashville Davidson County Beer Permit Board and the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission. A business owner must be prepared to face these charges. Our office has handled both the criminal aspect and the civil side of the permit for some time. For more information, you can visit our website on Tennessee alcohol beverage law.