If you live in Texas and work in a restaurant, bar, hotel, or any establishment where alcoholic beverages are served, you must have completed your TABC certification. If you hope to work in any such establishment, it’s important to know the Texas alcohol laws.

On several occasions, we’ve been asked by students who want to take defensive driving courses if TABC certification is required by law. We understand that some may end up working in the hospitality industry, so we are always eager to help. Because we want our roads to be free of drunk drivers, we will answer this important question in detail.

What is TABC Certification?

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission(TABC) certification is the process by which sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages in Texas are trained in the safe sale and service of alcohol in the state. It is an important certification for everyone who wants to work in alcohol-serving establishments.

TABC certification courses cover laws on sales and services of alcohol to minors and intoxicated persons. To become certified, a student must:

  • Complete a 120-minute, classroom-based course or an internet-based, self-paced course
  • Cover all required topics of commission standard competence curriculum
  • Pass the Commission Standard Competence Test
  • Is TABC Certification Required By Law?

    Contrary to what most people believe, TABC certification is not required by law. You may find it hard to believe if you’ve ever worked or tried to work in any alcohol-serving establishment in Texas, but it’s true.

    Many people assume that the law requires TABC certification because employers always ask for it as a requirement for employment. It is very difficult to find an employer in the hospitality industry who does not demand this certification from potential employees.

    Why do Texas hospitality employers require TABC certification when the law does not? The answer is – it gives them safe harbor under Texas alcohol laws.

    What Is “Safe Harbor?”

    Safe harbor is a term used to describe the clause that protects alcohol-serving businesses from losing their liquor permits. It is just a way for the TABC to inform employers that their licenses will not be revoked if one of their employees breaks the law regarding selling and serving alcohol, provided six criteria are met.

    Safe harbor laws do not completely shield the employer from penalties, and neither do they exonerate employees who break the law. Both the employer and the at-fault employee could still face fines, civil action, and even jail time. However, if the six criteria in the clause are met, the TABC will not revoke the liquor permit.

    What Are the Criteria for “Safe Harbor?”

    The six criteria for safe harbor in the event of an employee breaking the law are:

  • The seller is not the owner of the business or an officer of the company
  • The seller must hold a valid seller-server training certificate
  • All employees engaged in the sale, service, or delivery of alcoholic beverages and their managers are certified within 30 days of being hired The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service, and every employee has read and understood said policies
  • The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage employees to violate the law
  • The establishment has not had more than three violations in twelve months
  • Benefits of Getting TABC Certification

    Though it is not required by law, obtaining TABC Certification is still very important for employees and job seekers in the hospitality industry in Texas. The specific benefits of certification include:

  • Knowledge of Texas alcohol laws
  • A better understanding of your responsibilities as a seller-server
  • Improved employability
  • The ability to help make society safer through responsible alcohol sales and services.
  • At the end of the day, responsible alcohol sales and services can help to keep our roads safer. The TABC certification course is important for anyone who wants to sell or serve alcoholic beverages in Texas. If you intend to work in an alcohol-serving establishment soon, now is a good time to get TABC Certified.