Texas has a new Beer-to-Go Law: Will it Impact the DWI Rate?

Posted by Doug Murphy | Oct 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

After years of legal wrangling between small-to-medium sized breweries and the powerful Texas beer distributor's lobby, the State of Texas has finally adopted a beer-to-go law. This new statute, which went into effect on September 1, 2019, now allows in-state breweries to sell their packaged products to go instead of only in their taprooms on the premises. While this was largely a battle between competing industries with eyes on Texas' lucrative beer market, some opponents questioned if this law would impact the rate of DWI arrests in the state.

To date, there is nothing to suggest that the additional option of purchasing beer to go at a craft brewery increases the frequency of drunken driving within the State of Texas. While it is too early to draw any conclusions about DWI arrests, this change in the law did little to impact the amount of alcohol purchased within the state. In fact, a case could be made that some consumers might shift from drinking at a taproom to purchasing packaged beer and transporting it home instead.

Passing the Beer-to-Go Law

Despite different versions of the beer-to-go law languishing in legislative committees for years, the current bill ultimately passed unanimously. This was thanks in no small part to the beer distributors lobby signing off on the bill after negotiating some concessions. The law still caps breweries on the total amount of beer they can sell each year and drinks sold by the package or on the premises, both of which count equally to the total.

Under the new law, consumers face limits in the amount they can buy. Currently, each person is limited to purchasing one case of beer directly from a brewery per day. Until the passage of this bill, Texas was the last state in the country that still barred breweries from selling directly to the public.

DWI Convictions and their Collateral Consequences

While it remains to be seen if this change in the law will impact the number of intoxicated drivers on the road, there is no doubt that a DWI conviction carries a steep price. While these convictions all carry the potential for jail time or fines, you could also face significant collateral consequences if convicted.

Collateral consequences are things that impact your life indirectly following a conviction. You could face severe consequences for a DWI conviction, especially if you are convicted of a felony. Some of the most severe collateral consequences include the loss of your:

  • Right to vote
  • Right to own a gun
  • Child custody agreement
  • Driver's license
  • Medical license
  • Nursing license
  • CPA license
  • Law license.

Just like with the formal penalties following a DWI, you could avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction with the help of the right Houston DWI attorney.

How a Houston DWI Defense Attorney Can Help

If you are facing a DWI charge in the Houston area, attorney Doug Murphy can help. One of the area's most decorated defense attorneys, Doug Murphy could help you fight back against the charges you face. To learn more, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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