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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3825
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Regarding Texas alcoholic beverage code for an establishment

Customer Question

Regarding Texas alcoholic beverage code for an establishment with a mixed beverage license.

I have been reading through the tabs code regarding advertising practices. I am wondering what restrictions we would face regarding having a sign on an adjacent property.

Can we?
If Yes, what can we or can we not say on the advertising?


Sec. 108.52. PERMISSIBLE OUTDOOR ADVERTISING.
Sec. 108.53. BILLBOARDS AND ELECTRIC SIGNS: WHEN PERMIT IS REQUIRED.
Sec. 108.07 ADVERTISING OF MIXED BEVERAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ( states that the code does not apply to mixed beverage establishments )
Sec. 45.105 ADVERTISING. ( Applies to mixed beverage license holders )
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi\

Zachary D. Norris :

Thank you for your question.

Zachary D. Norris :

If you are there, I need a few questions answered so that I can provide you with a full answer

Customer:

certainly

Zachary D. Norris :

I understand that you are seeking to put up a sign on an adjacent piece of property which advertises your establishment, is that correct?

Customer:

correct

Zachary D. Norris :

OK. Is it a bar, or a restaurant?

Customer:

this is a full liquor bar. no restaurant facilities at this time

Customer:

we are located on county property, outside city limits, if that has any bearing

Zachary D. Norris :

OK. There could also be local restrictions that I would need to inform you about. What county?

Customer:

guadalupe county

Zachary D. Norris :

Alright. I'm going to need some time to research this matter. I'm going to check the state codes and then search through any Guadalupe County local regulations that I can find on line. Since this will take a while, I am going to switch us out of Chat Mode and into Q&A mode. This will allow you to leave your computer and check back with me in a little while.

Customer:

no problem. I am watching shows on hulu, so I will be at my computer most of the evening.

Customer:

I am curious

Zachary D. Norris :

Before I go, is the premises serving only as a bar, or are there other uses that you will using (live music, adult entertainment, etc.)?

Zachary D. Norris :

sorry for the bad grammar there

Customer:

What weight would your legal opinion have should we get in trouble for putting up a sign, should you say we are good, and tabs disagrees

Customer:

we offer live music once a week and karaoke once a week. no food other than snacks....

Customer:

we have outdoor events planned for the future

Customer:

tabs, lol. meant tabc

Customer:

no adult entertainment ( nudes and the like)

Zachary D. Norris :

Sound like it will be a fun place. Unfortunately, my legal opinion in this format does not carry any weight. It would be best to engage an attorney in Austin to provide legal opinions of this nature. I am located in Houston.

Zachary D. Norris :

You would want someone who has a connection with TABC

Zachary D. Norris :

So that there opinion would carry weight.

Customer:

ok, well if your response tells me that it may be possible then I will seek out such a person.

Zachary D. Norris :

It would also likely be referred up to the attorney general at that point for a letter opinion, and the closer your attorney is to the AG's office, the better.

Zachary D. Norris :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX formats. Check back in around 30 minutes or so for the answer.

Customer:

ok. thank you

Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
First off, we must start with Section 108.07, which states:

§ 108.07. Advertising of Mixed Beverage Establishments

The provisions of this code applicable to outdoor advertising and to advertising in or on the premises do not apply to establishments for which a mixed beverage permit has been issued. The commission or administrator shall promulgate reasonable rules relating to that type of advertising, and violation of any of those rules is a violation of this code.

That being said, this would mean that neither Sec. 108.52. or Sec. 108.53 apply to signs located ON THE PREMISES of your bar.
(capitals for emphasis)

What does apply to signs ON YOUR PREMISES will be found in the TABC regulations. As you have pointed out in your question, the main regulation is found in Reg Section 45.105.

That being said, your question is interesting, as 45.105 states that it applies to signs "on the licensed premises" and you are looking to put up an advertisement across the street on someone else's property. As the sign is no longer located on your premises, it falls back under the general regulations in TABC Code Sec. 108.53, meaning that it appears you will have to get a permit for the sign across the street (unless it is further than 200 feet away from the bar (measured from the property line).

Thus the sign must conform as follows:
§ 108.52. Permissible Outdoor Advertising

(a) No outdoor advertising is permitted in this state except that which is authorized by this section or under rules of the commission or administrator promulgated pursuant to Section 108.03 of this code.

(b) Billboards and electric signs are permitted if they are not located in a manner contrary to this code.

(c) Retail licensees and permittees may erect or maintain one sign at each place of business which may read as follows:

(1) if a beer retailer, the sign may read "Beer";

(2) if an off-premises beer retailer, the sign may read "Beer" or "Beer to Go";

(3) if a wine and beer retailer, the sign may read "Beer," "Beer and Wine," or "Beer, Wine and Ale";

(4) if a wine and beer off-premises retailer, the sign may read "Beer," "Beer to Go," "Beer and Wine," "Beer and Wine to Go," "Beer, Wine and Ale," or "Beer, Wine and Ale to Go";

(5) if a package store permittee, the sign may read "Package Store," "Liquors," or "Wines and Liquors," and if a retail dealer's off-premise license is also held, the sign may read "Package Store," "Wines, Liquors and Beer," or "Wine, Liquors and Beer to Go"; or

(6) if a wine only package store permittee, the sign may read "Wine" or "Wines," and if a retail dealer's off-premise license is also held, the sign may read "Wines and Beer," "Wine and Beer," or "Wine and Beer to Go."

(d) A sign erected under Subsection (c) of this section may be placed inside or outside the place of business so as to be visible to the general public. None of the letters on a sign may be more than 12 inches in height, and no sign may contain any wording, insignia, or device representative of the brand or name of an alcoholic beverage. The commission or administrator may permit a licensee or permittee to erect or maintain one sign at each entrance or side of a building occupied by him if it faces more than one street or highway.

(e) Billboards, electric signs, or other signs to designate the firm name or business of a permittee or licensee authorized to manufacture, rectify, bottle, or wholesale alcoholic beverages may be displayed at the licensee's or permittee's place of business.

(f) A display composed of alcoholic beverages or printed or lithographed material advertising alcoholic beverages located inside the licensed premises is permitted if the alcoholic beverages or advertising material is not placed within six inches of a window or opening facing a street, alley, or highway. A card or certificate of membership in an association or organization is not "advertising material" for the purpose of this subsection if it is not larger than 80 square inches.

(g) Outdoor advertising of an alcoholic beverage or of the business of any person engaged in the manufacture, sale, or distribution of an alcoholic beverage is permitted to be placed on or affixed to a bench unless:

(1) the advertising is prohibited by an ordinance of an incorporated city or town; or

(2) the advertising is in an area or zone where the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited by law.

(h) In addition to the signs authorized by this section, any retail licensee or permittee whose trade name or corporate name includes one or more of the words or phrases regulated by Subsection (c) of this section may also have one sign designating the trade name or corporate name of the retail licensee's or permittee's business. The commission or administrator may permit a retail licensee or permittee to erect and maintain one sign at each entrance or side of a building occupied by the retail licensee or permittee if the building faces more than one street or highway. Signs erected pursuant to this subsection shall comply with all local regulations concerning the erection of signs.




Your signs cannot have anything that is deceptive (ie, misrepresentations), disparaging of a competitor, or is obscene or indecent.

The direct reference to the type of drinks sold on your sign could be possibly argued as an "advertisement" of the particular alcohol rather than as an advertisement for your bar. I have never experienced this interpretation and believe it would not hold up, but just in an over-abundance of caution, please see the following: You need to refrain from advertising liquor names on the sign, such as "1/2 off Jack Daniels" or the like or otherwise, the sign must follow TABC Regulations Sections 45.26-45.29. If you advertise "wine" it must be in conformity with TABC Regulations Sections 45.54 - 45.55; advertising "malt beverages" is controlled by sections 45.87 - 45.90.

Looking at the Guadalupe County information, I did not see any specific regulations regarding signs/bill boards. However, it probably wouldn't hurt to make sure by contacting the following to check for any permitting requirements for a sign that the county might have in addition to TABC:
Guadalupe County
Road and Bridge Department
2605 North Guadalupe
Seguin, Texas 78155 (NNN) NNN-NNNN
Fax(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Office Hours

To sum up, unless the sign is more than 200 feet away, you have to get a permit and follow the sign restrictions on advertising. Please let me know if this answers your questions.

Best of luck,
Zach
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3825
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 19 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so If placed more than 200 feet from the property, it is acceptable as long as???

What can we say on the sign ( or what can we not say. )

what about paragraph d in sect 108.53?

Sorry, I have the code, just can't wrap my head around it ( please don't post the code back at me, just makes it harder to understand what you are trying to say to me. )
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well that blows. Why do they have to make the Accept Answer button, look like the button to hit when all you want to do is reply..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
does that kill my chance for a complete answer?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
If more than 200 feet away, you don't have to get a permit but you do have to abide by the general rules for outdoor advertising applicable to signs that are not located on the premises. In layman's terms, that means the following:

1. A sign which is more than 200 feet from the premises does not have to be under a permit.

2. Section 108.53 does not control, except to say that no permit is required because it is more than 200 feet away from the premises.

3. Section 108.52 restrictions do not apply because they control signs that are on the premises only.

4. The sign cannot be in the form of a "handbill". It must be an actual sign, and it needs to be on private property, rather than on the public street.

5. If the sign is 200 feet off the property, then you can say things like "Beer $1.50, $5.00 tequila shots" and "happy hour at 7-9 pm". You can't say things like "buy one get one free" or advertise any drink for free really at all. You must rather term it is "half-priced drinks", etc.

6. The sign must have your legal name on it, and the city and state location (last line of your physical address, including the zip code).

7. Your sign can't say anything that is false, untrue, or misleading, nor can it disparage your competition, nor can it contain anything which might be considered lude or offensive.

8. Don't mention any specific alcohol by Brand name, otherwise you have to put all kinds of disclosures on the sign (like you see when you see a Shiner Bock Billboard).

9. If you do mention the specific names of a beer, see the following for an example of the information you must state on the sign (look at all the fine print): http://www.google. com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=877&bih=837&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=gYRjfkucxgRuYM:&imgrefurl=http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/shiner,spoetzl/Interesting&docid=LRAfYRKMWWN4nM&itg=1&imgurl=http://farm1.static.flickr.com/253/518101240_d8ecbf6ff3.jpg&w=500&h=414&ei=gd_CT_7SJ6WviQfd3byzCg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=503&sig=105704765078803327836&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=207&start=0&ndsp=14&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:75&tx=94&ty=81

For liquor, if mentioned specifically, you also have to make similar disclosures.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can clarify.

-Zach
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Very Much. This explanation is exactly the format I needed to understand where we sit on the topic.
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure. Good Luck,

-Zach

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