CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission seized an illegal still in Cherokee County.
The still sat in the driveway of a homeowner’s front yard and officers believe the person truly had no idea distilling liquor was illegal.
“Some of our T.A.B.C. agents were actually on their normal course of duties and there was a still in an individual’s front yard,” T.A.B.C. Public Information Officer Chris Porter says.
What looks like an old beer keg was actually used to distill spirits.
“Because it is illegal in Texas to possess equipment which allows you to distill spirits, we made contact with the owner and went ahead and seized the equipment and gave him a warning,” Porter says.
The homeowner told officers that he truly believed it was legal to make his own alcohol, so what could have been a hefty fine or jail time was excused.
“A lot of people are not aware of what the law says, there are laws that allow people to manufacture beer or wine in their home for personal consumption,” Porter says.
But that does not extend to distill spirits, like this jar that was seized from previous busts resting at 155 proof.
Distilled spirits have the highest alcohol content of all the alcoholic beverages.
“Sometimes they are filled with additives that we are unaware of, led from the distillation process might be there, some of the flavorings that they add may be harmful once it’s added to alcohol,” Porter says.
T.A.B.C. says the content is dangerous, but the equipment used to distill the alcohol could be fatal.
“Whenever one of these distilleries explodes because people are not operating them properly,” Porter says.
T.A.B.C. says they usually find only one illegal still a year in the East Texas area.