City Hall

Effort to Cut Off Tap of TABC Permits For Beer, Wine Sales Citywide Put Off Till Next Week

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is slowly but surely doling out those permits to retailers who want to sell beer and wine in the previously dry parts of Dallas (though none have been issued in the last few days). The lawsuit filed by the parties opposed to the citywide off-premise sale of beer and wine is due before Judge Laurine Blake on January 18, at which time attorneys representing the city, Keep the Dollars in Dallas and those agin the wetting up of Dallas will hash over preliminary matters related to jurisdiction and discovery, among other issues.

But attorneys repping the anti-wet faction, which includes a Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member appointed by the Dallas City Council, are concerned that by the time the judge hears the case, it'll be too late. Which is why, on Friday, Leland de la Garza, who works with Andy Siegel at Shackelford Melton, filed with Judge Blake in Bonham an emergency motion for a temporary order that would have suspended implementation of the permitting process. It follows a similar letter sent to the judge on December 22, the day the TABC sent out that initial release announcing that permits were on their way.

Says the emergency motion, which follows in full: "Unless the court issues an immediate order suspending implementation of the contested measure pending an evidentiary hearing on the Application, a large number of permits authorizing the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption will be issued, which will render any ultimate voiding of the contested election of little practical effect since the permits will already have been issued and the TABC's position is that it will not cancel the permits upon the voiding of the election." The permits, incidentally, are good for two years after the date they were issued.

De la Garza, who sent me a copy of that motion moments ago, tells Unfair Park this morning that he went to Bonham to present the TRO Friday afternoon, at which point, he says, "the judge read the paperwork and then, without any hearing, entered an order that denied that relief till she can have a hearing on January 18. So, in effect, the judge decided to stay with the plan." The hearing has been set for 9:30 a.m. one week from tomorrow.

On a related note: For the first time ever, I bought a sixer yesterday at the Tom Thumb in Preston Royal. Two words: Reward. Card.

Emergency TRO Filed in Wet-Dry Case

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky