In a press release by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a new initiative to help restaurants and bars with permanent food service to obtain a Mixed Beverage Permit to allow the sell of mixed drinks to-go and for delivery, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While new orders from Gov. Abbott, to rollback the reopening of bars and restaurants were installed to contain the spread of COVID-19, limiting on-premise service of alcohol, a new statutory waiver approved by the governor today allows restaurants and certain bars with a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to go and for delivery. Under the waiver, these businesses may sell drinks containing distilled spirits mixed and sealed by the business itself. Previously, mixed drinks to go were prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverage Code. However, the governor’s action temporarily waives that law.
To qualify for alcohol delivery and pickup, a business must hold a Mixed Beverage Permit and have permanent food service capabilities on the premise. Alcohol orders must also be accompanied by a food order and follow all other requirements in TABC’s Industry Notice.
Under TABC guidelines, It’s a criminal offense to knowingly possess an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle. Prior to delivering a mixed alcoholic beverage or providing the beverage to go, the container must be closed or sealed. If the covering or lid on the top of the container has any holes that would provide a way to consume the beverage with the lid intact, it would constitute an illegal open container.
TABC agents will continue their efforts to ensure businesses are complying with the governor’s executive orders, including those limiting on-premise alcohol service. Meanwhile, businesses with questions about the new guidelines are encouraged to contact their local TABC office or check the agency’s Coronavirus Information Page at www.tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus