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Permit Now Required for Houston Establishments Allowing BYOB After Midnight

May 24, 2023 -- The Houston City Council adopted an ordinance today that amends Chapter 28 of the City of Houston Code and regulates venues allowing for Bring-Your-Own-Bottle (BYOB) service after midnight.

BYOB establishments are not licensed or permitted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) but allow patrons to bring their own alcoholic beverages onto the premises for consumption. The new ordinance now requires an establishment to obtain a permit from the city if it wants to allow for BYOB after 12:01 a.m. The ordinance does not allow alcohol to be brought into an establishment or consumed on the premises after 2:15 a.m.

“There is a lot of criminal activity after hours and specifically in parking lots and unregulated venues after 2:15 a.m.,” says Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This ordinance helps to set clear guidelines and standards and will be a vital tool for the Houston Police Department to help mitigate potential risks.  By working collaboratively with venue owners, law enforcement, and the community, we can continue to create a safer environment that fosters the vibrant nightlife Houston is known for, while protecting the interests and well-being of our residents.”

Beyond restricted permit hours specified by the ordinance, it also calls for other precautionary safety measures such as a certificate of occupancy, mandatory security guards, required lighting in parking lots, a video surveillance system, hand wands or metal detectors, and other measures such as background and criminal history checks for owners and operators.

“I’m proud to see that we came together to vote this through and close a regulatory loophole that will reduce the strain on our Houston police officers,” remarks Council Member Abbie Kamin, District C. “Our residents and law enforcement officers have been calling for the need to establish rules and safety regulations and approving this ordinance is in direct response to what our constituents are telling us.”

The ordinance goes into effect immediately, but those who want to apply will have 30 days to comply. There is an annual permit fee and an inspection fee in addition to a requirement to display signage declaring that the establishment is BYOB permitted. To read the ordinance in its entirety please click the link: BYOB Ordinance.