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Texas Senate passes alcohol to-go bill

HB 1024 now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has shown support for alcohol to-go in the past.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas alcohol to-go bill just passed another major hurdle!

On Wednesday, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 1024. The Senate passed the bill on all three readings and didn't amend it, so it will now go to Gov. Greg Abbott.

The bill had previously passed with flying colors in the House (144-1) late last month. And Gov. Abbott has shown support of alcohol to-go in the past.

Today, alcohol to-go is allowed in Texas due to a waiver that Gov. Abbott issued toward the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, the governor issued a waiver allowing restaurants to deliver beer, wine and mixed drinks with a food order while their dining rooms were closed due to the coronavirus. Under the initial waiver, Texas restaurants could only serve liquor to-go in manufacturer-sealed bottles and with the purchase of food. 

That waiver was part of an effort to keep bars and restaurants afloat as they were closed and at reduced capacity.

Then, a waiver extension issued in June allowed restaurants and certain bars with a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to-go as well as for delivery. Under the extended waiver, businesses can sell drinks containing distilled spirits as long as they are mixed and sealed by the business itself with the business’ name on the container.