TABC creates permit to allow third-party booze delivery

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just in time for the holidays, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has made it easier to get booze.

The new Consumer Delivery permit will allow third-party services, such as Favor or Instacart as examples, to deliver alcoholic beverages to residences. Restaurants and bars that hold Mixed Beverage Permits with Food and Beverage Certificates can already deliver alcohol alongside food orders.

“Where the Consumer Delivery Permit differs is it allows third-party businesses that already don’t sell alcohol on their own, to go to these places like a bar or a liquor store, pick up the alcohol and then deliver it to the customers as the third party,” agency spokesperson Chris Porter said. “It’s a new permit that’s never been issued before and it will be issued to business types that previously have not been able to deliver alcohol.”

Customers using popular delivery phone apps can punch up their alcohol orders, and if their preferred service has the permit, the courier can get the beverages at a TABC-approved location and deliver them. There won’t be a specific size limit for things like beer or wine, but the limit for a hard-liquor container is 375 milliliters.

A spokesperson for Uber said in an emailed statement that alcohol delivery isn’t available using the Uber Eats platform in Texas and won’t be any time in the near future.

“In Texas, we currently deliver alcohol from retailers including Spec’s, Sam’s Club, Rice Epicurean Markets, Feldman’s and Total Wine & More, and are looking forward to exploring additional opportunities for alcohol delivery given the recent changes,” Instacart said in a statement.

Porter said the agency recognizes the concerns over underage drinking.

“Preventing the sale of alcohol to minors is one of TABC’s primary missions and with the Consumer Delivery Permit, just as we do with other alcohol retailers, those folks who make that delivery are required to ensure that the person accepting the alcohol is of legal age, so they’re at least 21 years old, in addition to not being intoxicated,” Porter said.

The agency plans to conduct periodic inspections to make sure companies are complying with the law. Any complaints sent in by citizens or law enforcement agencies about violations will trigger a TABC investigation, Porter said.

Deliverers will also go through a training program similar to the one required for current bartenders.

TABC expects to issue the first permits by the third week in December.

The permit was created by the passage of Senate Bill 1450 in May.

Wes Rapaport contributed to this report.

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