Daiquiris To Go, But Not Liquor

Drive-through beverage store stirs controversy

Daiquiris To Go seems like a place to put frozen rum drinks directly in drivers’ hands, but the business at 1622 Market Center Boulevard in Dallas is only licensed to sell beer and wine.

The daiquiris are flavored wine drinks that are sold sealed in a plastic bag, the store's owner Marcus Lewis said Friday.  He said he discourages customers from drinking them while driving.

“It’s totally up to the customer, it’s their discretion,” Lewis said. “If they feel like opening it up, they’re breaking the law and I also let them know that.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Dallas has heard from people who are worried about the drive-through business.

“They’re concerned about people consuming and becoming impaired and injuring themselves or others,” said Mary Kardell, Dallas MADD Executive Director.
Under state law, wine and beer retailers can sell for consumption on the premises and can also sell products to go.

“They can’t sell any distilled sprints, there’s no liquor in those daiquiris,” said Captain Charlie Cloud with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. “Now some people might say the statute needs to be changed, but that would certainly be the legislature’s decision, not ours."
The TABC cited the business and levied a $450 fine in 2008 for selling to a minor. Cloud said that was a reduced fine because it was the first violation and the business agreed to train all employees to avoid any violations in the future.

“They have a fairly clean record,” Cloud said.
If drive-through alcohol sales are legal, Kardell with MADD said Texas should also increase enforcement measures to remove drunken drivers from the road.

Sobriety checkpoints and mandatory blood alcohol testing for DUI suspects are two measures that died in the Texas Legislature this year.

“I think that we know from our research and our data that lives would be saved,” Kardell said.

The Daiquiris To Go storeowner said he sees Kardell's point of view.
“I kind of feel the same way,” he said. Lewis said that he opposes drunken driving, but offers a refreshing, convenient product for adults to enjoy when they get off the road.
"I think I provide a pretty unique service,” he said.
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