Governor Abbott has recently signed a law allowing companies to deliver alcohol directly to consumers. For food establishments in Texas, and Amazon, this is huge for their bottom line as it removes an unnecessary barrier. The Vice President of Rosario’s has said it will hopefully add more than ten percent to their bottom line. This could mean the same for endless Texas delivery restaurants who can now bring customers alcohol with their dinner. For their benefit, and every online shopper, Amazon is now able to ship alcohol to Texas consumers like virtually every other product they sell.
The drawbacks? This doesn’t go far enough. Texas is a red state that has championed free-market ideas and supported business-friendly policies. As it stands, the current alcohol policies in Texas are too restrictive and oppose the very free-market ideas Texas has always supported. The remaining alcohol restrictions include:
- 21 years of age to consume alcohol
- Liquor may only be bought at certain stores at specific times
- Grocery, drug, and convenience stores can only sell wine and beer (at or below certain percentages)
- Sundays come with a maze of restrictions regarding alcohol sales
- Alcohol cannot be purchased past 2am
- And you cannot drink outside of an establishment/in public
The 21-year-old age requirement was established due to federal overreach, that can and should be overturned. By legally barring businesses from carrying certain products limits the amount of people an establishment can do business with and the number of places a distributor can sell, which is not very market friendly. The time limit is simply unnecessary. And no drinking outside an establishment, what does that matter? Perhaps Texas could use European laws as a guide where parents have more authority over their child’s drinking age than the government, alcohol sales are not limited to specific stores (hell, they could even follow California law on that point), and the legal age of drinking is not older than it is to join the military.
All over the country, states and cities are reforming their alcohol laws. From DC changing the alcohol content allowed, to Connecticut potentially offering beer and wine on self-service tap, and Congressional attempts to allow the USPS to ship alcohol. State by state we are eliminating the remaining vestiges of prohibition-era thinking, but America has been ready for this end since before the 21st amendment. The governor has taken an important step to liberalizing the alcohol market, but Texas has never shied away from challenging the federal government or being a national leader, and now is the time for Texas to take further action against federal overreach and take the lead on alcohol reform in the United States.
Written by: Brannon March, LSPI Intern