Things may soon be getting back to whatever will pass for post-COVID normal. For more on that, read our article on Governor Abbott’s First “Reopening Texas” Order, effective May 1, 2020, at https://www.eblawtexas.com/p?850
But for now, we hope that you will enjoy this non-legal, non-lawyerish piece. Fair warning: Texas-centric snark (actually, all kinds of snark and sardonic humor) abounds herein. Easily offended? Turn away now. Open to some irreverent, barely-connected-to-the-law humor? (Well, we hope you find it humorous). Read on at your own risk.
In some places, people have different feelings about the consumption of alcohol than we do here in Texas. I know. Crazy talk.
But in fairness, the idea of an adult purchasing a product when he wants, then consuming or using the product where he wants, as long as he does not harm another person, does not seem odd to most Texans in most cases. We do this all the time with hot dogs, tennis shoes and automobiles.
With a few exceptions, Texas law allows us to drape ourselves in katanas, tomahawks and belt knives as we go about our daily business. With proper licensing, Texans can strap on concealed handguns until they can’t walk, or, with a few more restrictions, can open carry a sidearm. Subject to a fairly small number of conditions, law-abiding Texans can tote their favorite rifle down the street with no licensing required. We even let 16-year-old children fly solo in those multi-ton, high-speed weapons we call cars trucks and vans.
None of this is odd to Texans, although I bet some of it is a bit alarming to the more sensitive among our recent transplants from Yankee territory. Or in Austin, the nice little city next door to Texas (bless their hearts, in a safe space, with a non-denominational, gender-neutral, inclusive chant followed by that little steepled-hand, quarter-bow gesture).
Yes, in Texas you can now order your favorite steak, with all the sides and fixins, along with a double shot of your favorite bourbon or tequila, and have it delivered to your front door.
But if you take the above premise, and switch out hot dogs, tennis shoes or automobiles for alcohol, then many Texans will start talking and acting like they are from Connecticut. Suddenly there will be no restriction which reaches too far, no rule deemed too onerous, no warning sign too ridiculous, nor any tax or fee too high (unless it raises the price so high that we have trouble keeping our liquor cabinets stocked).
But maybe things are changing.
In the wake of the COVID disaster, so many things changed – one of which was that restaurants started delivering alcohol with meals. Yes, in Texas you can now order your favorite steak, with all the sides and fixins, along with a double shot of your favorite bourbon or tequila, and have it delivered to your front door. More crazy talk. I know. “This,” many say, “is Texas, and we don’t do that here.”
Well, going forward, maybe we do.
But, to the surprise of many observers, TABC confirmed that expanded alcohol-to-go and delivery, will be able to continue even past the May 1 commencement of reopening Texas for business. Governor Abbott Twitter-teased that legislators might take this one step further.
I truly never thought I would see the day when a Texas Governor would make such a statement. And, I suppose that relaxation of government control over the lives of individuals warms the freedom-loving heart. But will anything come of it? Who knows? What’s next, are we going to become Colorado?
Probably not. But if so, then I am moving to gasp Oklahoma.
Brian Benitez is a partner at Ensley Benitez Law, P.C., whose practice emphasizes litigating matters important to small and medium businesses arising from areas including Construction Law, Employment Law, Contracts Law, Texas Property Code Liens, and Agency Law (e.g. representing businesses against government entities, such as OSHA, EEOC, TDI, TX Comptroller). Ensley Benitez Law, P.C., 8140 Walnut Hill Ln., Ste. 835, Dallas, TX 75231 469-501-5562, firstname.lastname@example.org.