(news) alcohol

Some Texas lawmakers are seeking to modernize certain Texas business practices that have outlived their usefulness. Namely, there is a push in the legislature that would allow for the sale of hard liquor on Sundays and the sale of vehicles seven days a week.

House Bill 421 and Senate Bill 236 — introduced by Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, and Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, respectively — would allow Texas liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. Senate Bill 441, introduced by Conni Burton, R-Colleyville, would allow car dealerships to remain open on both Saturdays and Sundays.

Both bills regarding the sale of alcohol would also allow for the purchase of hard liquor as late as 10 p.m. on weekdays; current laws prohibit the sale of liquor after 9 p.m.

These blue laws were originally designed to enforce religious standards with the idea that people should be at church or resting — not consuming alcohol or purchasing frivolous items.

Although many of the blue laws in Texas were repealed in 1985, laws restricting sales of vehicles and alcohol are still enforced.

In Texas, current laws prohibit a dealer to sell a vehicle on consecutive weekend days, effectively meaning that no dealerships are open on Sundays. The sale of alcohol on Sundays is also heavily regulated. Currently, no alcohol can be purchased before noon on Sundays,while the sale of hard liquor is restricted to restaurants selling cocktails while stores can only sell beer and wine.

The nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board estimates that the state could have reaped over $7 million in revenue for the 2012-2013 biennium had liquor stores been allowed to remain open on Sundays.

Junior cyber security major and Buffalo Wild Wings hostess Chelsea Williams stated, “Changes need to be made. Not buying liquor on Sundays cannot stop a person from drinking on Sunday. I can purchase liquor any day of the week and drink before church if I wanted. And as a server, I know that Buffalo Wild Wings has a loophole to this law. As long as a customer purchases an entrée, they can order beer, wine or a mixed drink.”

Since 2002, fourteen states have lifted the ban allowing liquor sales on Sundays.

Matt Levin of the Houston Chronicle stated that “many car dealers, however, don’t want to see the law go” and that “local dealers told the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram they don’t want to be open an extra day, and the effect on sales would be negligible.”

Although dealerships are wary of the bill, Burton says she is “a free-market conservative,” adding that she has “always been a little dismayed that we have government dictating days of the week that businesses can or cannot be open.”

If the bill passes, dealerships would not be legally required to stay open on Sundays, leaving the option to the dealerships themselves.

Pre-nursing junior Candice Allen stated that initially, she did not know that there was a law that prohibited car sales on Sundays. However, she believes that “they should be able to be sold. There’s nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t mind if they changed that law.”

Related Stories

More from Teia Herrera/ Staff Writer

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In News

Alejandro Lopez Co-News Editor

UTSA fraternities and sororities collected clothing donations for Sigma Pi’s 8th annual clothing drive on April 7 at Aspen Heights.…