The reason Texans can’t buy a bottle of whiskey or go car shopping on a Sunday is the blue law found within the Alcoholic Beverage Code (ABC) and section § 728.002 of the Transportation Code. Overall, blue laws were enacted in 1961 and officially repealed in 1985, yet liquor stores and dealerships retain this first day of the week restriction. Here are some of the details as applicable to the two business types.
Texas is no stranger to liquor restricting. In fact, laws governing alcohol sales date back to independence from Mexico. Today, Sundays are a no-purchase zone for liquor, which began as a response to the repeal of Prohibition. Buying on Christmas was banned in 1967, then Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in 1979. Consumption is possible on non-major holiday Sundays in bars and restaurants after noon. Beer and wine can be bought at the grocery store on Sunday afternoons also.
When Prohibition was lifted, the Texas Legislature made every county “wet,” or able to sell alcohol. Some counties then decided to be dry. Currently within the Lone Star state, counties, cities, and judicial precincts can decide via election if alcohol can be sold at all, what kind, and in what kind of establishment it can be consumed. As a result of this, laws can change within the same city or county.
Texas is not the only state where car dealerships are closed on Sunday; Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania are also on the list. Most places are closed on Sunday, however, Texas law does allow new and used dealerships to be open on Sunday, if they are closed on Saturday. Another unique aspect of the law is that it applies to any “self-propelled vehicle of two or more wheels designed to transport a person or property,” A.K.A not only includes car and truck dealerships must close one day of the weekend but also motorcycle, golf cart, and ATV dealerships. Don’t worry Facebook marketplace users, non-professional sales can be made on Sunday!