01 Nov Who is delivering the alcohol?
An interesting article about yet another logistics company launching into retail alcohol delivery in Texas. The article ponders the crowded arena of alcohol delivery choices with Texas’s long thought complex alcohol regulations. At the end of the article, noting “the booze business is booming and shows no signs of stopping.”
The Texas permit issued to these companies is the Carrier Permit created by the Legislature in 1977. At the time, and up to just a few years ago, the typical Carrier permit vehicle was a delivery truck or van, much like hired to move produce and dry goods with a uniformed delivery person. These vehicles were easily identifiable to law enforcement with vehicle registration required by the state.
Today’s Carrier Permit vehicle ranges from the typical to a Prius. It’s driver, not a uniformed person, but your neighbor who contracts as a driver in his free evenings. Although the smarter logistics companies are requiring their driver have training in checking ID’s for delivery, not all of them do.
There have been many factors playing into the revolution of retail delivery, including revisions to the Motor Vehicle Code and no revisions in the Alcoholic Beverage Code. The TABC doesn’t have the resources to police these deliveries, and even if they did, they can’t identify the vehicles or people making them unless it’s a sting operation.
Alcohol business in Texas is booming, and retail delivery of alcohol is expanding. Obtaining alcohol is convenient and easily accessible, and for this retired regulator, that is scarier than a Halloween movie. Alcohol wasn’t intended to be convenient or readily available. Yet it’s hard to argue with that delivery might be keeping drunks off the road looking for another drink.
At a time “deregulation” is a theme, retail delivery of alcohol could use a legislative review for balance between convenience and public safety.
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