As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, bars and restaurants are struggling to stay open with reduced sales and covid restrictions. Fortunately, states across the country are finding ways around this, allowing patrons to continue to enjoy themselves safely. Texas alcohol laws have just been changed to allow bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages to-go!
New To-Go Alcohol Law in Texas
The Texas legislature supported the bill wholeheartedly; the Texas House of Representatives voted 144 to 1, the Texas Senate approved it by a vote of 30 to 1, and a poll found that 65% of Texans support the bill.
This makes Texas the 10th state to legalize selling alcohol to-go. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill yesterday, on Wednesday, May 12th. To-go alcoholic drinks are now permanently available, allowing retailers with mixed-beverage permits to sell wine, beer, and mixed drinks for delivery and pick-up.
"To help restaurants be able to better deal with the pandemic, we waived the regulation to allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go," Abbott said in a video posted to Twitter announcing the bill signing. "Well, it turned out that Texas liked it so much that the Texas Legislature wanted to make that permanent law in the state of Texas."
Enjoy Drinks From Home!
The new Texas state law is a continuation of measures to boost sales during the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, Governor Abbott issued a waiver for beer, wine and cocktail kits with bottles smaller than 375 milliliter for restaurants with a license. Then, that June, Governor Abbot, the Texas Restaurant Association and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) extended the waiver indefinitely and added mixed drinks into the deal.
With the new to-go liquor law, the waiver is now permanent throughout the state of Texas! This new law continues to prioritize safety while boosting alcohol sales, with the rule that a sale of alcohol must include a sale of food and be sold in a sealed, tamper-proof container rather than an open container.
Although you still can't buy liquor on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day or New Year's Day in Texas, on any other day you can buy a mixed drink or cocktail to-go. Whether you live in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth or elsewhere in the Lone Star State, you can now enjoy your margaritas or tipsy Texas tea from home!