New Texas Beer-to-Go Sales Law
After years of legal wrangling, the Texas Legislature finally reached an agreement that had breweries popping tops across the state: they passed the Beer-to-Go law. While Texas distilleries and wineries have had the right to sell directly to consumers for years, the same was not true for breweries. By signing House Bill 1545, Governor Greg Abbott made Texas the 50th and final state to allow beer sales directly from the brewery. The law went into place on September 1, 2019, and was followed by celebrations at breweries across the state.
Prior to the adoption of the Beer-to-Go law, breweries had the right to sell beer on their premises. However, the law did not allow consumers to take packaged beer with them in most cases. While so-called brewpubs – the legal designation for restaurants that brew beer in small batches – were allowed to sell beer to go, the same was not true for large scale breweries. In total, this change impacts the more than 250 craft breweries throughout the state.
Now, consumers may take beer with them when they visit Texas breweries. However, there are still some unusual limitations that do not apply to liquor stores or other outlets. Each person may only buy one case of beer per day. Breweries may only sell their own products under the change.
The Legislative Battle
The rules limiting breweries from selling their own product to go have been in place since the end of prohibition. While limits on wine and spirits were lifted over time, the powerful lobbyists behind Texas’ beer distributors worked overtime to prevent the change. After years of lobbying efforts successfully stalling the Beer-to-Go Law in committee, the trade association for craft brewers hammered out a compromise version of the bill with the distributor’s lobby. Despite years of obstacles and deadlock, the bill ultimately passed unanimously.
Part of the compromise kept some of the limits on craft beer in place. These breweries are limited to a maximum of 5,000 barrels sold directly to consumers. While this limitation has been in place for taproom sales, it also now includes direct sales. In other words, breweries with a large volume of taproom sales might have to choose between to-go sales and taproom business.
Legal Help with Alcohol-Related Charges
The adoption of this new law has made breweries very happy, but it remains to be seen if there are any collateral consequences. While there is nothing to suggest it could be problematic, some have voiced concerns that these rules could increase alcohol-related offenses like public intoxication, underage drinking, or driving while intoxicated.
No matter where alcohol is purchased, an arrest on a drinking-related charge can have serious consequences. A conviction for public intoxication carries a fine and could stay on your permanent record forever. DWI convictions are especially severe, especially for repeat offenders. In some cases, a DWI could result in a felony conviction carrying the potential of years behind bars.
Protect your reputation, freedom, and financial future by enlisting the help of a tenacious DWI lawyer who will fight to get the charges reduced or dropped altogether. If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related charge, contact the Peveto Law Office right away to schedule your free initial consultation.