TABC releases app to help find bars, file complaints

A new smart phone app has hit the market. It's supposed to act as an extra set of eyes for law enforcement. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission launched their smart phone app that allows users to file complaints about bars, but there are some other perks too.

There are more than 50,000 licensed establishments that sell alcohol in Texas. But the bottom line is, police can't be everywhere. That's where this app the TABC released this week, comes in.

“It allows people to search for local TABC licenses establishments such as bars and restaurants. In addition to that it allows people to file reports to the TABC if they happen to witness a violation,” said Chris Porter, spokesperson for TABC.

That could be anything from human trafficking all the way down to serving a minor. But there is more you can do.

“You can find a place that's been open for years, you can find a place who's permit is still pending, meaning they're going to open soon,” said Porter.

Bob Woody owns more than 20 downtown Austin establishments. He thinks the app is a good idea, but there will be some who take advantage of it. “You're intoxicated, we don't want to serve you. Now you're outside 'oh I’m going to complain about the club because they won't serve me,’” said Woody.

With his several years in the club business he's seen how much a few drinks can affect judgment.

“If you're using it as a tactic to complain about a club, and you really don't have a complaint about the club that would be a concern,” said Woody.

Woody says he can use it to quickly get in touch with the TABC. He is not worried about the petty reports. As far as the ones who complain about something as simple as a bartender not bringing the right drink… “At the end of the day if you call in they're going to vet you, listen to you, then check you out and see if you're legitimate before they come and bother the club,” said Woody.

This is the third app TABC has tried. The other two apps were based on either filing reports or finding alcohol near you. This one puts it all together.

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