12 Texas bars have alcohol permits suspended for violating coronavirus health protocols

A dozen bars in Texas have had their alcohol permits temporarily suspended as of Sunday after they failed to meet health protocols put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) found evidence to hand down the suspensions for 12 bars located in eight cities, including, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso, after the public agency conducted undercover investigations of the establishments, according to a release.

"Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. "We warned businesses TABC will have no tolerance for breaking the rules, and now, some bars are paying the price. I hope other establishments will learn from these suspensions."

FIVE TEXAS BARS HAVE ALCOHOL PERMITS SUSPENDED FOR VIOLATING CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS

The bars suspended between Friday to Sunday include Handlebar Houston in Houston, BARge 25 in Seabrook, Harris House of Heroes and Marty's Live in Dallas, The New PR's in Fort Worth, UnBARlievable (West 6th), Buford's Backyard Beer Garden and Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse in Austin, Little Woodrow's in Lubbock, Coconuts and Werk Bar in El Paso, and Elevate Night Club in McAllen.

The TABC said it has the authority and will pursue emergency license suspensions if there are violations determined to be a threat to public health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The first infraction results in up to a 30-day license suspension, with the second resulting in up to a 60-day suspension.

"All bars and restaurants operating in Texas have a duty to follow the checklists developed by the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas," the agency said. "These protocols are in place so that the Texas economy can function without a significant increase in COVID-19 cases."

TEXAS COUNTY MANDATES CORONAVIRUS FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC, WARNS BUSINESSES COULD BE FINED FOR VIOLATIONS

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) found evidence to hand down the suspensions for 12 bars located in eight cities, including, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) found evidence to hand down the suspensions for 12 bars located in eight cities, including, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso. (iStock)

Protocols include a 50 percent indoor customer capacity limit for bars and 75 percent for restaurants. Groups of customers must also maintain social distancing of at least six feet, according to the agency.

"The agency understands this is a difficult time for the Texas economy and doesn’t want to shut any businesses down," the TABC wrote. "We encourage bars and restaurants to follow the rules, operate responsibly, and thereby protect the welfare of Texans and Texas in spite of COVID-19."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Following a recent surge, Texas now has the fifth most coronavirus cases of any state in the U.S. The state has more than 112,944 confirmed cases and at least 2,191 deaths from the virus, as of Monday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.