Don’t rush to your computer or Sunday newspaper just yet, but there could, possibly, be a time in the near future when Texans are gathering up their coupons for beer and wine just like they do now for diapers, detergent and breakfast cereal.
To be clear Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) spokesperson Chris Porter said, “At present the current state law as set by the Legislature completely outlaws and prohibits any coupons that can be redeemed for reduced prices on alcohol or free alcohol.”
That’s news to some shoppers who have for years seen coupons for alcohol-related items and thought they were one in the same. “What you do see a lot of times in stores is they’ll have what we call ‘neckers,’ which are coupons that are actually hung on the necks of wine bottles. And what those coupons do is they allow you to use those coupons for non-alcohol related items, with the purchase of an alcoholic beverage,” Porter explained, adding, “So a lot of times you’ll see a wine bottle that says “get free cheese if you buy this wine,” although the small print should say that there’s no alcoholic purchase necessary.”
But back to the real (possible) booze discounts – officials with the TABC have been kicking around the idea of alcohol coupons for months, and finally decided to get some opinions from stores and businesses. Porter said that during a meeting in July, “Some of the larger retailers, such as the chain stores and things like that, they’re a little more willing to accept coupons, simply because it will increase business as far as the sale of alcohol. Some of the smaller folks are concerned that the coupons could result in them taking a larger financial hit that they may not be able to afford, when compared to the larger retailers.”
Officials want to stress that the TABC is only considering allowing alcohol coupons and that any law or policy change is still far down the road. “Where we are right now… we’ve taken that testimony from both sides of the issue and we’re weighing that to determine, A, if there’s even any interest in changing the rule as written,” Porter said.