Being dry or wet appears to have always been a local option issue, said Roy Hale, program specialist with the enforcement division of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission office in Austin.
The modern era of alcohol sales across the state starts with national prohibition, which was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933, per ratification of the 21st Amendment.
In 1935, the Texas Liquor Control Act, which was administered by the Texas Liquor Control Board
, went into effect, he
"When national prohibition was repealed, everything turned back to its wet/dry status before prohibition began," Hale
said."It was a hodge-podge even then."
Most of the state at that time was dry, he
said.The state seemed to be divided by Highway 90, which is now Interstate 10, he
Below the highway was commonly wet; above it, was dry.Even major metropolitan areas in Harris, Travis and Tarrant counties were only partially wet, he
The move from dry to wet has been slow and steady over the past several decades, but legislation passed two sessions ago truly lit the fire underneath the issue, Hale
One major change made it easier to meet liquor petition standards.A petition previously needed 35 percent of registered voters to sign it before it could be submitted to the state and an election held.Now, a petition only needs signatures from 35 percent of the residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election - a much smaller number - to qualify.
"It's really been escalating in the last two to four years, based on these changes to these issues," Hale
said about liquor elections across the state.