Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I provide alcohol to my child?

    A person may purchase an alcoholic beverage for or give an alcoholic beverage to a minor if he/she is the minor’s adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or an adult in whose custody the minor has been committed by a court, and he/she is visibly present when the minor possesses and/or consumes the alcoholic beverage.

  2. Can I provide alcohol to my child’s friends if I have their parents’ permission?

    No, the only minor you are allowed to provide alcohol to legally is your own child and even then your child must remain in your visible presence while possessing and/or consuming the alcoholic beverage.

  3. I’m hosting a party for a high school class. Can I serve non-alcoholic beer?

    There are no regulations regarding the service of non-alcoholic beverages, defined as any beverage with less than a half percent of alcohol by volume.

  4. If there is an underage drinking party in a hotel room that is registered in my name, am I responsible?

    If you are twenty-one years of age or older, you could be held civilly responsible for damages proximately caused by the intoxication of a minor under the age of eighteen, if you are not the minor’s parent, guardian, or spouse; you had prior knowledge of the underage drinking party; and you served or provided or allowed the minor to be served or provided any of the alcoholic beverages that contributed to the minor’s intoxication on the premises you own or lease.

  5. What happens if an underage drinking party is held on property that I own but I am unaware of the situation and did not provide any alcohol?

    You likely would not be held criminally liable if you had no prior knowledge of the situation and provided no alcohol to the party. However, this does not affect the right of any person to bring a common law cause of action against any individual whose consumption of an alcoholic beverage allegedly resulted in causing the person bringing the suit to suffer personal injury or property damage.

  6. I am a minor. Can I be held criminally liable for giving alcohol to my friends who are under 21?

    It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you provide alcohol to a minor it is a Class A misdemeanor. You could face a fine up to $4,000 and/or up to a year in jail.

  7. If you are under 21 what is the legal limit for driving while intoxicated?

    Zero Tolerance. It is against the law for someone under 21 to drive while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. That means .00 is the legal BAC for persons under 21.

  8. What happens if my child is found in a vehicle with an open container of alcohol?

    Regardless of whether a person had physical care, custody, and control of the alcohol, a person can still be charged with an offense related to possession. Affirmative links may be used to establish possession, depending on the amount of alcohol present, if the alcoholic beverage was within the minor’s view, if the alcoholic beverage was accessible to the minor, knowledge of the alcohol, etc.

    Any person whom knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked, may be charged with "Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in a Motor Vehicle." An offense under this section is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

    If your child is under the age of 21 at the time they were found in possession of an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle, they also may be charged with "Possession of Alcohol by a Minor." An offense under this section is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, community service, and suspension of their driving privileges.

  9. All of my employees are seller/server certified. Does TABC offer additional training to help avoid violations?

    Go to the "Contact us" section of this webpage and call the TABC office closest to you to find out more information on educational opportunities available.