SAN ANTONIO – A bill has been introduced in Texas that would allow people to buy liquor on Sundays.
House Bill 937 was introduced during the 87th legislative session by Texas Representative Richard Raymond and it basically aims to stamp out the prohibition-era ban on the sale of spirits on Sundays.
Most Texans are aware that the Texas alcoholic beverage code prohibits the sale of liquor on Sundays - a rule that dates back to 1935 when, according to the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Liquor Control Act in response to the repeal of Prohibition.
If HB 937 passes it would also expand the hours for alcohol sales from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Current Texas law stipulates that liquor sales are allowed from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Most “blue laws,” as they are sometimes referred to, were abolished in 1985. These laws limited the sale of certain goods on Sundays but both liquor and car sales are still not allowed on Sundays, according to the Texas Tribune.
Current law states that grocery retailers and gas stations are still allowed to sell beer and wine on Sundays, but not before noon.
Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day are all on the naughty list when it comes to liquor sales - meaning you can’t buy any on those days.
However, if Christmas or New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the liquor ban applies to the Monday immediately following. HB 937 also seeks to remove that caveat from Texas law.
Last year, during the coronavirus pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages to-go in an effort to help relieve some businesses that were floundering due to closures and the temporary ban on in-person dining.
Abbott waived certain regulations allowing alcohol delivery from restaurants on March 18 as a way to help support the hospitality industry and mused in late April that Texas might keep the tradition going forever.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, 38 states and the District of Columbia allow some form of off-premise retail sales of spirits on Sundays.