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Drinking al fresco

From the Things You Might Not Have Realized department.

beer

“It is a commonly-held belief that it’s illegal to walk down the street drinking a beer in Texas. However, that is not always the case.”

Those words, which we recently happened upon at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission website, sparked wary excitement. We’d always chafed under the assumed strictness of Houston drinking laws, even fearing that we might receive a ticket for drinking in Houstonia’s unfenced Heights yard. Until, that is, we researched the Texas legal code, which states that public drinking is prohibited only in certain areas of state parks and wherever a city has specifically deemed it illegal. In 1994, the City of Houston successfully petitioned to ban drinking in public within the entire Central Business District (the area roughly bounded by Dowling Street and I-45, McGowen Street and Buffalo Bayou). On the one hand, you can’t drink on downtown’s streets, or Midtown’s or EaDo’s. On the other, it’s open season for open containers everywhere else.

Public intoxication, which the TABC defines as inebriation that “may endanger the person or another,” is illegal everywhere, of course. But there’s no law against strolling Allen Parkway with a Lone Star while taking in the skyline, or sipping margaritas to-go in Eleanor Tinsley Park. Just keep things classy and under control, not like you would in NOLA.

I’m a pretty moderate drinker these days, so this knowledge is of limited practical use to me. It’s still good to know, and hey, maybe it will be of more use to you. Link via Swamplot.

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One Comment

  1. joshua bullard says:

    Central bussiness district of houston is bound by the freeways now.so i would think your ok to drink beer in midtown.midtown is beyond the marker.which is 45pierce.not mcgowen street.joshua ben bullard

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