Not aware of just how out of control the TABC, the notorious Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, is?

Here’s a quote from the Tyler Morning-Telegraph: “State law requires mixed-beverage permit holders to purchase all distilled spirits from distributors within the county [in which] they are located — in this case, four [new] permitted distributors in Winona [the only in-Smith County distributors]… However, on Feb. 26, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended state law requiring Smith County beverage retailers to purchase distilled spirits from distributors in the city.”

Did you catch that? The TABC “suspended state law” relating to liquor distribution in Smith County. The Tyler paper reports that “Suspension of state beverage law allows local restaurants to continue purchasing distilled spirits from out-of-county vendors indefinitely.”

And there you have it. As I’ve long explained: Texas, and most states’, liquor laws are primarily about protecting monopolies of one type or another and thereby indirectly lining the pockets of politicians. Texans need to get over the idea that the TABC is about protecting us from the Evils of Demon-Rum and more about protecting the fat margins and fortunes of regional distribution companies.

In the Smith County case the hamlet of Winona recently went wet providing, under the weird monopolistic state laws, a new distribution source point for Tyler restaurants. But that threatened the profits of other established distributors and the TABC, as should always be expected, moved to protect them. Heck, the TABC went so far as to “suspend state law.”

The TABC, as many lawmakers know and admit privately, needs to go away. Local law enforcement can handle the job just fine.

Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at