You Can Order Alcohol To Go From Your Favorite Restaurant, But Rules Need To Be Followed

Andrew Greenstein
April 06, 2020 - 3:00 pm

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Thanks to the restaurant closures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, folks are now temporarily allowed to order alcoholic beverages to go.

But there are many laws still in force that you will need to know.

For instance, all carry-out alcohol must accompany an entree prepared in the restaurant's kitchen.

"That's not going to be something like a bag of chips or a bag of peanuts, says Chris Porter, spokesman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. "It has to be a type of entree or a food item that is actually prepared on the premises of the business."

Mixed drinks can also be ordered to go -- but let's just say when you get home, there will be some assembly required.

"The type of alcohol that can be sold must be in its original manufacturer's sealed container," says Porter, who notes that the container must be no bigger than 375mL (which calculates to about 12.68 fl. oz.).

For example, if a customer orders a frozen margarita with his or her fajitas, the customer will get a cup full of crushed ice and lime juice, presumably with a lid on top, along with single-serve (50mL) bottles of tequila and orange liqueur to mix in at home.

All of this is uncharted territory -- not just for customers, but also for restaurants.

But Porter says everyone is doing a good job in following the rules.

"We haven't had any situations where we've been required to issue a warning or an administrative action to date," says Porter. "Everyone is doing what they can to make sure they can stay in business and comply with the law at the same time."

If restaurants do inadvertently fail to follow the rules, the TABC is not out to punish them.

"We go to that restaurant and we basically inform them what the law says," Porter says. "And we pass along some printed guidance that we produced here at the agency."