Phone app makes underage drinking easy to report anonymously

Published: May. 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2013 at 9:58 PM CDT
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GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Memorial Day weekend is a time to gather with loved ones and pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, but for many people, this weekend will involve BBQs, boats and bars.

A new smart phone app from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission makes it quick and easy to report illegal activity you might see. The TABC complaint reporting app is brand new. Sergeant Marcus Stokke just downloaded it Friday.

"You submit the [establishment] name, location, county and incident details," Sgt. Stokke says.

That's all you need to know to file a complaint the minute you suspect illegal activity is happening.

"You can actually submit it anonymously as well so no one would know who actually submitted it," he says.

The app allows you to report any bar, restaurant or store that's selling alcohol to minors or people who are already intoxicated. You can report individuals, parties and events that are giving alcohol to people that are underage and you can report where prostitution, illegal drug use and gambling are taking place.

"If people were to go home and not think anymore about it, they might forget to [report it]. This way, right when they're there, if they do it they'll be more accurate in their reporting because they just saw it," says Stokke.

After submitting, the report goes to the TABC headquarters in Austin. Then, the proper field office is notified and an agent is assigned to the complaint. Each complaint is taken very seriously.

"All of these do go to our headquarters in Austin. They do get looked at and assigned a number and they get investigated. If [a person sees] something, it's definitely not a waste of their time to [report] it," he says.

Filling out a report on your phone usually takes less than a minute, from start to finish. The application does ask for your email address when you submit a complaint, but TABC says that information is kept confidential. You can also ask TABC to let you know the outcome of the complaint. If you want to download the app, click here. It is free and works with iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

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