Alcohol laws of Texas

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A person must be at least be 21 years of age to publicly drink an alcoholic beverage in Texas, with some exceptions[1]

Texas is one of ten states (California, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, New York, Texas, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) that allow consumption by minors in the presence of consenting and supervising family members. In the state of Texas, parents accept responsibility for the safety of minors under 18 when the minor is on their property or on property leased by them and under their care, custody, and control; an adult may provide alcohol to a minor if he/she is the minor’s adult parent, guardian, or spouse, and is visibly present when the minor possesses or consumes the alcoholic beverage.[2] It is against the law to make alcohol available to a non-family person younger than 21 even in your own residence, even with the parent’s permission.[2]

Texas holds parents/adults civilly liable for damages caused by the intoxication of a minor younger than 18 if they knowingly provided alcohol or allowed alcohol to be served on property owned or leased by them and the minor:

  • is injured or dies as a result of drinking on the property,
  • gets into a fight, falls and hurts him/herself, or is sexually assaulted,
  • damages someone else’s property, or
  • leaves and is involved in a motor vehicle accident and causes injury to themselves or others.

An operator of a motor vehicle is considered automatically under the influence of alcohol if a chemical screening shows a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. If under the age of 21, a driver in Texas is not able to test positive for any blood-alcohol content (BAC) under penalty of DUI charges.

Wet and dry counties[edit]

Several counties are completely "dry" counties, where no sales of alcoholic beverages are legal anywhere in the county:[3]

  1. Borden
  2. Hemphill
  3. Kent
  4. Martin
  5. Roberts
  6. Throckmorton

Many counties are completely "wet" counties, where all alcoholic beverage sales are legal everywhere in the county:[3]

  1. Aransas
  2. Austin
  3. Bexar
  4. Brazos
  5. Brewster
  6. Brooks
  7. Cameron
  8. Childress
  9. Collingsworth
  10. Colorado
  11. Comal
  12. Cottle
  13. Culberson
  14. Dimmit
  15. Donley
  16. Duval
  17. Ector
  18. El Paso
  19. Fayette
  20. Fisher
  21. Fort Bend
  22. Goliad
  23. Gonzales
  24. Guadalupe
  25. Hidalgo
  26. Hudspeth
  27. Jim Hogg
  28. Kendall
  29. Kenedy
  30. Kinney
  31. Kleberg
  32. La Salle
  33. Midland
  34. Mitchell
  35. Nolan
  36. Nueces
  37. Presidio
  38. San Saba
  39. Scurry
  40. Sherman
  41. Starr
  42. Sutton
  43. Val Verde
  44. Victoria
  45. Washington
  46. Webb
  47. Wharton
  48. Wilbarger
  49. Zapata
  50. Zavala

All others are "moist" counties, which are a combination of wet and dry areas.[3]

Sales of alcohol[edit]

Beer sales are permitted between 7 AM and midnight on all days except Sunday; Sunday sales are permitted between midnight and 1AM and between noon and midnight (excepting certain sales of beer with food).[4] Wine sales are generally permitted at the same time as beer sales.[5] Any retailer with a proper permit may sell beer and wine.

Liquor sales are more stringently regulated. Liquor sales are prohibited 1) on Sundays, 2) on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day (and when Christmas and New Year's fall on a Sunday, the prohibition is carried over to the following Monday), and 3) before 10AM and after 9PM on any other day.[6] Furthermore, liquor can only be sold in "package stores", which must be closed whenever liquor sales are prohibited (even for sales of otherwise allowable products)[7], and which further must be physically separated from any other business.[8] Moreover, no owner can own more than five package stores[9], and no publicly-traded company can own such a store.[10]

Legitimate age[edit]

People must be at least 21 years of age to legally consume alcoholic beverages in Texas with certain exceptions, as in any other state in the United States. However, employment at a company serving alcoholic beverages can be entered into at age 18 provided they get certified by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.[11]

No specific training is required to serve alcohol; however, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code states that the actions of an employee (such as serving alcohol to a clearly intoxicated patron) will not be imputed to the employer if 1) the employer requires the employee to complete training approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, 2) the employee actually completes the training, and 3) the employer has not directly encouraged the employee to violate the law.[12]

Open container laws[edit]

All previously opened containers of alcoholic beverages must be stored and transported in a vehicle’s trunk (or behind the last row of seats in the case a vehicle does not have a partitioned trunk) or other storage to which the driver and or any passengers do not have access.

Blood alcohol content limits[edit]

An operator of a motor vehicle is considered under the influence of alcohol if a chemical screening test shows a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. No other evidence (such as Field Sobriety tests) need be presented to the court to obtain a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction. A driver testing 0.15 percent or more over the legal limit of 0.08 percent faces more severe penalties for enhanced BAC. When under the age of 21, a driver in Texas must not test positive for any blood-alcohol content (BAC) and may be charged with DUI even if the amount tested is under 0.08 percent.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "When Minor Drinking is Legal in Texas". KFOR TV. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/education/pdfs/Alcohol-And-Your-Child.pdf
  3. ^ a b c "Wet and Dry Counties". Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 105.05.
  5. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 105.04.
  6. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 105.01.
  7. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.14(e)..
  8. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.14(a)..
  9. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.04
  10. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 22.16.
  11. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 106.09.
  12. ^ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 106.14(a).

External links[edit]