AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper, Regulation of the Alcohol Beverage Industry: A Sunset Report on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“TABC and the Alcoholic Beverage Code rely on outdated, Prohibition-era regulations that create inconsistent treatment between tiers and give one tier— the middle tier—tremendous power over the other two,” said Policy Analyst Carine Martinez-Gouhier.

“The Sunset Staff Report generally goes in the right direction of a freer market, but some of its recommendations, unfortunately, go the opposite way, adding burdens and costs for businesses, and giving TABC additional regulatory authority, which would result in less, not more, consumer well-being. The deregulation of the alcoholic beverage industry would generate competition between all three tiers, which would benefit consumers in the process.”

The paper makes recommendations for improvements within the TABC and the Alcoholic Beverage Code while encouraging movement toward a freer market.

“Removing other responsibilities from TABC, such as the de­velopment and maintenance of a Special Response Team, would prevent the use of its limited resources for disaster relief or search and rescue operations for which it was never intended and allow it focus on enforcement of the Alcoholic Beverage Code that falls outside the abilities of local law enforcement agencies,” said Senior Researcher Randy Petersen.

Key Points:

  • TABC and the Alcoholic Beverage Code rely on outdated, Prohibition-era regulations.
  • The three-tier system imposes a middleman, which gives one tier tremendous power over others.
  • Inconsistent treatment of upper tier actors with no benefit for public safety needs to be addressed.
  • A freer market will create more competition between all three tiers, leading to more and safer choices for consumers, lower prices, and better economic growth for the industry.

To access the paper in full, please visit: