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Source investigations are a type of complaint investigation. The TABC began formal procedures for source investigations in June of 1994, although source investigations were performed on a district level in prior years. A source investigation attempts to identify the source of the alcoholic beverages consumed by parties who are involved in a serious accident or a DWI violation.
Agents review accident reports received from the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies on a weekly basis and also rely on news reports to learn of alcohol related accidents, car crashes and homicides in their area.
If a source investigation is warranted for certain incidents, the supervisor will assign an investigator. The source investigation also attempts to determine if that source was acting within the law when the beverages were provided to the parties in question. If the alcoholic beverages were sold illegally, the TABC agent will prepare and file appropriate criminal and administrative charges against the provider of the alcoholic beverages.
A source investigation requires a large number of work hours, but the hours of hard work pay off when an illegal source is found.