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Alcohol-to-go bill heads to Gov. Abbott's desk, but some Texans still concerned

Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 29, 2021

AUSTIN, TX — The Lone Star State is one step closer to instating an alcohol-to-go bill, but despite overwhelming support, including from Governor Greg Abbott, some Texans are still on the fence.

Allowing restaurants and bars to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages has been a tool to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, it looks like it's here to stay. It's an idea that comes with concern for some in the community.

"We can't control what the governor does, but we certainly can educate and do our best to send the message that when used improperly or misused, alcohol can have fatal life-long consequences," shared Mary Jo Prince, program manager and Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service, Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition, and State-Wide Initiatives.

The program manager says the number of DWI's has increased in both Bryan and College Station, at least when comparing statistics to this same time last year.

The bill does have guidelines in place to prevent drunk driving, but they relay more so on the honor system.

Delivered beverages can be an unwanted temptation for people suffering from alcoholism and those still recovering.

"People have been isolated during this time, and so of course that [alcohol-to-go] makes that convenience even more encouraging of that isolation, and so we certainly see some people in recovery have that be more difficult for them," explained Cameron House, CEO of Promises Brazos Valley.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says it is not opposed to the bill but urges people to drink responsibly. The group says there are still other laws in place to prevent drunk driving.

"Until we get to separate the drunk driver from the car, we are always going to have these types of issues. We are going to do our best to educate people not to do it but there is always going to be somebody that is going to think, 'Okay, I can do it.' No, you can never do it," said Julio Zaghi, of MADD.

The Texas Senate passed the bill off to the governor, who is expected to sign it any day now.