Texas lawmakers look to overhaul state liquor laws

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Texas lawmakers are looking to overhaul the state’s liquor laws to increase production limits and allow for Sunday sales.

House Bill 2232, sponsored by Rep. John Bucy, D-Austin, would allow liquor to be sold by retailers on Sundays for off-premises consumption. The measure would also need to be approved in local elections before going into effect.

If passed, the bill allows for retailers to sell and deliver liquor on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Beverage wholesalers would also be allowed to deliver products to liquor stores and other retailers between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

A companion bill, Senate Bill 1013, was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway. It is pending a hearing before the Senate Business & Commerce Committee.

Buckingham is also sponsoring another bill that would increase the number of 750 milliliter bottles retailers can sell to a single consumer in a 30-day period.

State law currently limits that number to two 750 milliliter bottles. Senate Bill 655, which was passed by the Senate last week, would double the limit to four bottles.

Both Bucy and Buckingham did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

David Orzo, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council, said the legislative package could give the state an advantage in the craft spirit space.

“In Texas, removing the ban on seven day sales of distilled spirits is not just about a business’ ability to be open when they choose or about consumer convenience,” he told The Center Square. “Craft distillers rely critically on sales through their tasting rooms.”

“On average, more than 40% of their sales come through tasting rooms which, naturally, see their biggest crowds on weekends,” he continued. “Unfortunately, because of the ban on Sunday sales, craft distillers can give patrons a tour of their distillery and lead them in a tasting, but they cannot sell them a bottle to take home with them.”

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