When it comes to alcohol, the state of Texas definitely has a complicated hodgepodge of laws that can make drinking in the state extremely confusing. It wasn’t until 1970 that an amendment to the Texas Constitution made liquor by the drink legal within the state; the first time since prohibition was passed that liquor by the drink was legal at all. While alcohol laws are primarily administered by state regulations, the sale of liquor by the drink in each city or county is governed by laws chosen in local-option elections.
Texas counties tend to fall into four categories:
- Wholly dry, which means no alcohol by the drink is sold at all
- Only 4% beer is legal
- Only alcoholic beverages with 14% or less alcohol are legal
- Distilled spirits are legal
To confuse matters more, these categories are not exactly set in stone. In some counties, the sale of mixed beverages can be legal in all or part of the county, while they may be illegal in other parts of the county. If you are confused, you’re not alone.
Lubbock County Liquor Laws and Drunk Driving
Lubbock County was for a long time a partially dry count. For many years before May 2009, the county allowed package goods to be sold in liquor stores, meaning they could sell alcohol and bottles and cans, but by the drink sales were prohibited countywide. On the other hand, inside the city of Lubbock, the situation was the exact opposite; restaurants and bars were able to serve alcohol by the drink, but the city banned liquor stores. That led to a situation in which college students at Texas Tech University could go into a bar or restaurant and buy a drink if they were over 21, but they couldn’t buy beer or liquor to drink at home unless they drove to a liquor store outside of the city.
In 2009, however, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce led the effort to change the law, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) began issuing liquor store permits in the city of Lubbock and alcohol by the drink was legalized countywide. Since then, getting a drink has been a lot easier throughout Lubbock County. According to reports, the number of drinkers has not increased in the county, despite the change in the laws, but the rate of drunk driving continues to be among the worst in Texas and the nation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas leads the nation in the number of fatalities that involve drinking and driving, despite the fact that the numbers decreased from 1337 deaths in 2013 to 1041 in 2014. in fact, a majority of crash fatalities in the state were due to drinking and driving. And when it comes to the rate of DUI related crashes per capita in Texas, the city of Lubbock was second only to San Antonio in 2014.
In fact, a recent article in a national magazine gave the city of Lubbock a failing grade and ranked 42nd nationally when it came to harsh DUI laws and 12th for DUI arrests, despite the fact that the city is home to MADD and they offer extensive public transportation services and Uber to make it possible to get home without driving.
Lubbock Drunk Driving Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that may have involved a drunk driver, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys at the Liggett Law Group as soon as possible, so that we can conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances and help you protect your rights.