Were Lawmakers Drunk When They Wrote Texas Alcohol Laws?

Texas' alcohol laws favor special interests at consumers' expense. These outdated and onerous regulations are in conflict with the economic and personal freedoms that have made the state prosperous. Reform is long overdue.Texas has a three-tier system of alcohol regulation. Producers, distributors and retailers (the three tiers) must remain independent and without any financial interests in each other. Most states adopted similar rules after Prohibition was repealed in the 1930s. Not much has changed about these laws in more than 80 years.Texas rigidly enforces these rules. Until recently, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which licenses liquor stores, even prohibited publicly traded companies like Walmart from selling liquor in the state. Another rule limited privately held corporations to five licenses, but allowed family owned stores to acquire an unlimited number. Walmart sued in protest. On March 20, a U.S. District judge ruled in Walmart's favor, finding both dictates contradict the Equal Protection and Dormant Commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  Continue reading...

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