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Is it illegal in Texas for the manager of a bar to be drunk in the bar they manage?

Houston, TX |

I was told by my bar manager when I started bartending several years ago that if the police ever came in looking for the manager or the owner to never tell them they were in there because it was illegal for either of them to be drunk in the establishment. Is this true? If so, how can I file a complaint? I work at a different bar now and the manager of this establishment sits up there from early in the afternoon (around noon or 1pm) until last call (2am), drinking until they are unbearable to deal with.

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Attorney answers 3


While I do not practice in TX, it is doubtful that is illegal, in part because it is difficult to define "drunk". Keep in mind that the legal limit with respect to driving does not mean drunk. However, the fact that something may not be illegal does not mean that they cannot be fired for it. Depending on the nature of your concern, it might just be a good idea to call the owner with your concerns. Good luck.


Contact the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. They can tell you the rules.

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My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for a full consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. For more answers based on my 19 years of experience visit my website,


The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission may suspend for not more than 60 days or cancel an original or renewal permit if it is found, after notice and hearing that . . . (11) the permittee is in the habit of using alcoholic beverages to excess; Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 11.61(11); or the permittee was intoxicated on the licensed premises; Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 11.61(13). the word “permittee” also includes each member of a partnership or association and, with respect to a corporation, each officer and the owner or owners of a majority of the corporate stock. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 11.61(a)

Legal disclaimer: John Bonica is licensed to practice law only in Texas. His response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is only intended to provide general information. The question may not include significant and important facts that would change the response. You should confer with a local attorney for competent legal advice.

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