Planning a big holiday party with family and friends this Christmas or New Year's Day? Be sure to shop early for your alcohol and liquor.
A Texas law bans the sale and serving of any liquor on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Sundays. Texas is one of 24 states to have a liquor ban.
In addition, if any of those holidays falls on a Sunday, sales are also banned the following Monday.
Wine and beer, however, may be sold at grocery stores and other retailers on holidays, though they can't be bought before 10 a.m. on Sundays. (Customers had to wait until noon on Sundays until the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1518 to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Code in 2021.)
When the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution repealed Prohibition in 1933, states took charge of regulating the alcoholic beverage industry. The Texas Legislature passed the Texas Liquor Control Act, creating the Texas Liquor Control Board in 1935.
The agency was renamed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 1970 and the Liquor Control Act was updated in 1977, becoming the Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Legislators added Christmas Day to the ban in 1967 and added Thanksgiving and New Year's in 1979.
So if you're in charge of drinks and wait until the last minute, you might be left empty-handed.
Randy Perales, owner of Bottle Shop in Corpus Christi, said he always reminds his customers to purchase alcohol before the holidays.
"The biggest issue is people come in from out of state and don't know the laws," Perales said. "For the most part, most people who drink regularly here in Texas know the rules."
While business doubles or triples around the winter holidays, Perales said it hurts him financially still when he has to be closed an extra day.
"If I would've been able to stay open on Thanksgiving, I would've, and I would've made a lot of money," Perales said. "And now with Christmas and New Year's Day on a Sunday, we're going to be closed those Mondays also. But it is what it is."
John Oliva covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @johnpoliva.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Here's why Texas won't let you buy alcohol on holidays