Alcohol To Go Sales in Texas - A Genius Move or a Dangerous Compromise?
In the early days of the pandemic, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued various executive orders. One such declaration was intended to ease the financial burden on restaurants and bars by allowing Alcohol To Go Sales. When restaurant dining rooms and bars were allowed to re-open, Alcohol To Go Sales were allowed to continue. And the masses celebrated. For many, Margaritas to go from your favorite Tex-Mex Restaurant seems almost too good to be true.
The Texas Legislature recently convened for its biennial session. Of particular interest is Senate Bill 298 which would make Alcohol To Go Sales permanent.
A draft of an initial version of the bill can be found at: 87(R) SB 298 - Introduced version (texas.gov)
The Texas Dram Shop Act, which has been on the books in Texas since 1987, provides an avenue to hold alcohol provider establishments liable for selling alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons.
It seems that liability considerations for the restaurant or bar operator increase exponentially when the customer is picking up alcohol to go curbside. As time goes on, restaurants and bars will have to pay a great deal more attention to their processes and procedures for delivering alcohol to customers on the go. Otherwise, these establishments will almost certainly face dram shop claims that they would not have encountered by virtue of the previous prohibition on Alcohol To Go Sales.
In case you were not sure how the Governor feels about the idea of making Alcohol To Go Sales as permanent thing, we offer Exhibit A from his Twitter feed: