The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulates the sale of alcohol at all the restaurants and stores in the state.
The most common association people have with them is that they regulate sale to minors, but there is a long list of rules businesses have to comply to in order to serve alcohol in Tennessee.
A restaurant can be fined for anything from serving happy hour too long to not displaying the correct paperwork.
The TABC also conducts ‘sting’ operations, sending in people under cover to check for compliance in carding. For instance, a person may attempt to purchase alcohol with a license that shows them to not be of age.
Once cited, businesses have a right to a hearing on the violation, and punishment or fine can take up to a year to go into effect.
Punishment for non-compliance ranges from $100 to thousands.
For selling to a minor, a business could have its license to sell alcohol suspended or even revoked. The punishment schedule for that goes: first offense: 7-20 day suspension at $150 fine per day; second offense: 10-90 day suspension at $150 fine per day within 36 months. Third offense: 60 days to revocation at $150 fine per day within 36 months.
The individual server or employee who sells to a minor or fails to card a person, also, is subject to fines that have a similarly wide range.
All employees who sell alcohol, also, are required to have a permit, which they can get by taking a TABC sanctioned class.
“Because the many citations are still being adjudicated, we don’t release the names of persons who individually violated the rules until after everything is final,” Tamsyn Smith, a law enforcement liaison with the TABC, said. “But restaurants that have been cited are public.”
In 2016, there were 1,293 citations across the state. But violations that resulted in a license suspension of a business’ license to sell alcohol were rare. A few more than 100 of the total citations in 2016 were suspensions.
By far the most common citation is for a server not having a permit. Once hired, a waiter or waitress has 90 days to complete a TABC course and get a permit. If it is found that this deadline is expired, it is a $150 fine.
The following restaurants have been fined at least $1,000 in Williamson County in the past year:
|Jonathan’s Grille||Spring Hill||3/3||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|Applebee’s||Spring Hill||3/3||2nd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 15 day suspension|
|Froggy & Jeffro’s||Spring Hill||3/3||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|Meo Mios Cajun||Spring Hill||3/3||Sale to Minor||$1,000|
|Olive Garden||Spring Hill||3/3||2nd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 7 day suspension|
|Taziki’s||Franklin||3/17||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|Guac||Franklin||3/17||Sale to Minor||$1,000|
|Franklin Lanes||Franklin||3/17||Sale to Minor||$1,000|
|Sperry’s||Franklin||4/21||Purchase from non-wholesaler||$1,500|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Spring Hill||5/19||Sale to Minor||$1,000|
|Fulin’s Asian||Spring Hill||5/19||2nd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 10 day suspension|
|Frankie’s Pizza||Spring Hill||5/19||2nd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 10 day suspension|
|Logan’s||Spring Hill||5/19||Sale to Minor||$1,000|
|Olive Garden||Spring Hill||5/19||3rd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 40 day suspension|
|Twin Peaks||Brentwood||5/20||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|Shiki||Franklin||6/21||Failure to cooperate||$1,500|
|King’s Bowl||Franklin||9/15||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|McCreary’s||Franklin||12/7||Sale to Minor||$1,500|
|Taziki’s||Franklin||12/7||2nd Sale to Minor||$1,500; 5 day suspension|
|Patel Wine & Spirits||Spring Hill||12/13||Sale to Minor||$1,500|