Covering the massive State Fair of Texas

Seven State Fair Vendors Caught Selling Alcohol to Teenage Decoy

Decoy was part of a sting run by TABC

By Chris Van Horne
|  Sunday, Oct 13, 2013  |  Updated 5:53 PM CDT
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On Friday night the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted it's annual investigation at Fair Park with an underage decoy trying to purchase beer or wine. Of the 100 plus vendors who sell alcohol, seven sold to that 16-year-old girl.

Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 News

On Friday night the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted it's annual investigation at Fair Park with an underage decoy trying to purchase beer or wine. Of the 100 plus vendors who sell alcohol, seven sold to that 16-year-old girl.

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Safety is a top priority for those who run the State Fair of Texas. And one of their biggest concerns is alcohol sales and making sure alcohol isn't sold to minors.

On Friday night the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted it's annual investigation at Fair Park with an underage decoy trying to purchase beer or wine.
 
Of the 100 plus vendors who sell alcohol, seven sold to that 16-year-old girl.
 
Food and beverages are big business at the fair, bringing in a million dollars a day in sales. But for the seven cited by the TABC they won't be able to sell for a while.
 
"There's no excuse for selling to someone underage," said Carey Risinger, senior vice president of food, beverage and retail.
 
Risinger says everyone selling alcohol must go through an alcohol awareness certification course. And while he can't identify those who were cited, he says they're as upset about it as anyone else.
 
"The fair is very serious, all of concessionaires are very serious," he said. "They made a mistake, so they're going to be punished."
 
That punishment includes the TABC's fines and hearings, as well as a two-day suspension from serving beer and wine at the fair.
 
It is a punishment that can hurt a vendor's bottom line, but it's one that keeps the fair a safe place to visit.
 
"It is a challenge, it is a challenge that we have to wake up every day and be serious about," Risinger said. "Because we want families to have fun here, enjoy themselves and not let that happen."
 
Seven is the highest number of citations in the last few years as the TABC visits the fair every year.
 
But Risinger said he and the TABC were encouraged that several vendors that refused the decoy actually called the police on her.


State Fair of Texas:
Howdy, Folks! Join in on the big fun at the State Fair of Texas by taking a look at our special section full of fried food, special events, deals and discounts, and much more. Click here for more.

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