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Texas bars busted for passing off cheap liquor as top shelf

FORT WORTH - The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is on a mission to identify establishments that are substituting cheap liquor for the expensive stuff, reports CBS DFW.

For "Operation Bottoms Up," investigators for the commission (TABC) ordered top-shelf alcohol by name from 68 retailers across the state and collected 153 samples. TABC plans to release the names of all the establishments at this time when the investigation wraps up in a few weeks. In all, the station reports, 21 businesses used cheaper liquor in place of high-end brands.

This is the first time TABC has conducted an investigation like this, according to CBS DFW, and, thanks to new equipment obtained by the agency, they say it won't be the last.

"We've heard a few complaints over the years," said Porter. "This time around it was the ability to see if we can do this to protect the public's investment and public safety."

Porter said most of the businesses will receive warnings as a result of this investigation. But for the seven retailers that provided multiple counterfeit drinks, Porter said there could be fines or a suspension of their licenses.

"TABC, along with our partners in the alcohol manufacturing industry, rely upon retailers to serve their customers in good faith," said Dexter K. Jones, TABC Assistant Chief of the Audit and Investigations Division.

"Unfortunately, in a highly competitive market such as Texas, some retailers may act against the public interest while trying to prop up their bottom line. Texas consumers and visitors should have a high expectation that retailers are committed to fulfilling their responsibility to serve customers exactly what they order."

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