Generally in Texas, anyone who is at least 21 years old is permitted to consume alcohol. In fact, alongside states like New York, Maryland, and California, minors are permitted to consume alcohol in Texas as long as they do so with the consent of their parent or guardian and under their care. However, the law states that such parents/adults who provide alcohol to their minors (those younger than 18 years) are civilly liable for damages caused as a result of intoxication from the alcohol they provided to such minors, especially on the properties leased or owned by them.
While these laws generally guide the consumption of alcohol in Texas, certain counties (about 5 of them) are ‘dry’, which means they do not permit alcohol to be sold anywhere in the county. About 55 counties are “wet” counties, which means it is legal to sell alcohol anywhere in the county. The remaining 194 counties are “moist”, which means they have both dry areas and wet areas. Highlands is in Harris County, which is one of the moist counties.
Alcohol Consumption Laws in Highlands, Texas
Highlands is a census-designated, unincorporated area in Harris County and luckily it is a wet area of the county! In Highlands TX, the alcohol consumption laws are as follows:
- The consumption of alcohol or the possession of alcohol with the intention to consume is prohibited between 12:15 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and between 1:15 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Sundays. However, in licensed premises in public places also known as “Extended Hours Area”, the hours for alcohol consumption differ. Here, the consumption of alcohol or the possession of alcohol with the intention to consume is prohibited between 2:15 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and between 2:15 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Sundays.
- Violation of the consumption law is treated as a class C demeanor.
- A person with a licensed premise who consumes or allows the consumption of alcohol on their premises at the prohibited times commits a class A demeanor.
- There is a waiver for the consumption of alcohol in a sports venue, winery, breweries and at certain events in addition to the above laws.
At Sports Centers
Consumption of alcohol is permitted at public facilities primarily meant for sporting events between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Consumption of alcohol in a winery is permitted between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. on Mondays to Saturdays, between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. on Sundays and between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. on New Year’s day.
At certain events
Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., consumption of alcohol is allowed at festivals, concerts and fairs.
The new laws guiding the consumption of alcohol in breweries will take effect on the 1st of September, 2021. The laws are: consumption of alcohol in a brewery is permitted between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. on Mondays to Saturdays and between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. on Sundays.
Alcohol Consumption by Minors
Alcohol consumption by minors is an offense except when:
- In the presence of the parent, spouse or guardian
- At the time of committing the offense, the minor requests emergency medical services in response to alcohol overdose for themselves or someone else
- The minor remains on the spot until medical care arrives and cooperates with both the law enforcement agents and the medical professionals.
- A minor who reports a sexual assault on someone else or themselves or who is a victim of sexual assault reported by someone else.
Driving Under the Influence
No driver below the age of 21 must test positive for any alcohol in their blood. The blood alcohol limit of Highlands, Texas is 0.08 percent and anyone who tests for levels above that would be convicted. Those who have BAC levels at 0.15 percent and above would face stiffer penalties than those with lower BAC.
Minors guilty of DUI are given 20-40 hours or 40-60 hours of community service where they educate people about alcohol misuse. The duration of the community service depends on if they have been convicted before or not. Minors who have been convicted twice before are either fined, jailed or fined and jailed.
The alcohol consumption laws of Highlands are largely the same as the consumption laws of Texas and the penalties are basically the same. It is worthy to note the times when alcohol consumption is illegal to avoid being caught by the long arm of the law.