Nightclub Age In Texas (18 or 21+)

The age for club entrance and drinking varies in different states, so it’s not always obvious what the rules are. To be on the safe side and for everyone to be allowed entrance, it’s good to know what age you can enter clubs in Texas.

Texas does not have a statewide age restriction on clubs, but many individual businesses establish an age limit for their patrons. Many 18+ and 21+ clubs in Texas do not allow anyone younger than that into the building.

Friends Drinking Cocktails Together At Nightclub. - Texas View
Friends Drinking Cocktails Together At Nightclub. - Texas View

At What Age Can You Go to a Club in Texas?

Although Texas clubs have no specific legal age limit, most clubs institute a business-wide limit. To prevent legal issues with entertainment and alcohol, many clubs in Texas are 18 or 21+ only and require a legal ID to get in. There is, however, a legal age limit for workers in any club.

18+ Clubs

18+ clubs only allow patrons over the age of 18 in the doors. Anyone younger than that will be turned away. Usually, these clubs have a bouncer or ID checker at the entrance to confirm everyone’s age. Once the guests are in, they won’t be required to show IDs again.

In 18+ clubs, patrons too young to drink alcohol (18-20-year-olds) have a marker to show bartenders they can’t order drinks. This is usually a stamp on their hand or a bracelet. It makes it easier for everyone to stay legal.

21+ Clubs

21+ clubs usually show much more adult content and do not allow anyone under the age of 21 in. Once patrons show their IDs at the door, they don’t have to bring them back out because everyone in the establishment is of legal drinking age.

These clubs strictly enforce the age limits because they are responsible for selling alcohol to anyone inside. If a club doesn’t check the ID card and sells alcohol to a minor, they could get their liquor license removed.

Other Clubs

However, many clubs in Texas do not have an age limit. They have a system for marking underage guests (such as a bracelet or hand stamp) so they can’t purchase alcohol, but no law in Texas imposes age limits on bars or clubs.

Many clubs impose an age limit after certain hours to keep their clubs family-friendly during the day and more adult-themed at night. However, this is a business-by-business rule, and it doesn’t apply statewide. Always check local county and city laws as well.

Neon Texas Sign Photo Composite. - Texas View
Neon Texas Sign Photo Composite. - Texas View

What Are the Texas Drinking Laws?

Similar to the club laws in Texas, there are very few statewide Texas alcohol laws. Of course, federal laws are enforced in the Lone Star State, but many individual Texas laws work around the national legal limit.

The most notable laws (or lack of rules) in Texas are the laws surrounding club ages, showing ID, parental purchase of alcohol, and the infamous Blue laws. Some of these make drinking and going to clubs easier, and others restrict alcohol more. Here are details on the unique rules.

Showing ID

In Texas, it’s not required to show ID when you buy alcohol. However, you still need to be at least 21 years old to be able to purchase alcohol successfully, and the only way that many storekeepers and bartenders will know is if they look at your federal identification. Bartenders have the right to refuse anyone alcohol and can if you don’t show them your license.

Even though you aren’t required to show your ID, most bartenders still need it. They are breaking the law if they don’t ask for it and the patron is under 21. However, bartenders are not breaking the law if someone presents a believable fake ID – that is the patron’s illegal activity.

Parents, Guardians, and Spouses

In Texas, a parent or guardian can buy alcohol for their underage child. As long as they supervise the drinking and don’t buy drinks for anyone else, it’s legal for an underage person to drink in public, as long as their parents are there.

The same goes for married couples. If one spouse is over 21 and the other is not, the legal spouse can buy alcohol for their younger husband or wife. Like in the parental guardian case, it’s only permitted if the spouse supervises and doesn’t buy drinks for anyone else.

Drinking at Clubs

With these age restrictions and drinking laws, clubs usually have a set of workarounds for their patrons to enjoy their time. If the club is in a dry area of Texas, it will register as a private club to sell alcohol.

This means that customers “join” the club by offering their ID at the door and can purchase.

For those younger than the drinking age at clubs, bartenders often have sodas and various non-alcoholic beverage options. Younger patrons will be able to enjoy the entertainment and dancing in the club as well.

Texas Clubbing FAQs

Are there other drinking laws to keep in mind?

Texas has many other alcohol laws centered around permits, various locations still prohibited, and alcohol selling. In some counties and towns, retailers can’t legally sell alcohol. Restaurants and breweries have to register as private clubs to be able to provide alcohol.

Texas doesn’t allow customers to buy alcohol with coupons, but many places offer drive-through margaritas and daiquiris (sealed, of course). The alcohol and ID laws in Texas are sometimes somewhat contradictory, and many are leftovers from the past, but they work to keep Texans safe on the weekends.

What are blue laws?

On the other hand, the Blue Laws do not allow selling alcohol for two consecutive weekend days. This law causes liquor stores to close down on Sundays between certain hours. It depends on the number of alcohol licenses the stores have, but most shut down for all of Sunday.

However, the laws have different rules for different types of stores. While liquor stores shut down, grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores often still offer beer and wine (although not liquor) throughout the weekend. This is because they also sell other things and hold limited liquor licenses.

Sources

  • https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/apis-policy-topics/minimum-ages-for-on-premises-servers-and-bartenders/38
  • https://www.tabc.texas.gov/public-safety/age-verification/
  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/blue-law