What Are the Remaining Blue Laws in Texas?

Although legal reforms have abolished many of Texas’s “blue laws” (religion-motivated laws governing sales on the Sabbath), it is still illegal to sell liquor on a Sunday in Texas (along with 11 other states, including Alabama, Minnesota and Oklahoma) as well as to open a car dealership on more than one day over a weekend. Until 1985, it was also illegal to sell furniture, clothing, hardware and appliances, among many other items, on more than one day over a weekend.

The blue law prohibiting liquor stores from doing business on Sundays does not apply to bars and restaurants, which may sell alcoholic beverages from midday. Supermarkets and other stores are also not prohibited from selling beer and wine on Sundays.

Although campaigners continue to seek the repeal of the remaining blue laws in Texas, the president of the Texas Package Stores Association, Greg Wonsmos, has claimed that there is little justification for doing so, since public demand is virtually non-existent. He argues that allowing liquor stores and car dealerships to open on Sundays would make minimal difference to revenue, predicting that the same number of sales would simply be spread over a seven-day week.

A similar, albeit more draconian, blue law exists in South Carolina, where sales of alcoholic beverages are prohibited (even from restaurants, bars and package stores) on state and general election days.