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.

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 specific locations such as the privacy of home or 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.[1] 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.[1]

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:[2]

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

Many counties are completely "wet" counties, where all alcoholic beverage sales are legal everywhere in the county:[2]

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

All others are "moist" counties, which are a combination of wet and dry areas.[2]

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 or service which requires vending or handling alcoholic beverages can be entered into at age 18.

Open Container Laws[edit]

All previously opened containers of alcoholic beverages must be stored and transported in a vehicle’s 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]

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