Florida Legislature Passes Bill Making Alcoholic Beverages To-Go Permanent
Last night (4/14/21), the Florida Legislature passed a bill to make “Alcoholic Beverages To-Go” permanent.
This would make to-go cocktails allowed from food service establishments, which would increase consumer convenience. It would also support businesses that were devastated by the pandemic. Restaurants have said… Cocktails to-go has proven to be a vital part of their survival during COVID-19 and will only provide increased stability in the months and years to come.”
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order during the pandemic, allowing restaurants to sell alcohol with to-go orders, early last year. Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed his support for making the change permanent at a news conference last September.
The bill now heads to DeSantis’ desk for his signature. If signed, the bill will become effective on July 1.
The Bill allows mixed drinks to be sold in containers of up to 32 ounces, provided the drinks are mixed on the premises and the containers have tamper-proof seals. The alcohol must also be part of an order for food. Those containers must then be sealed in bags. If they are delivered, they must be transported in trunks, compartments, or locked boxes that a delivery driver cannot reach while driving. Recipients’ IDs have to be checked and documented at delivery.
Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go. Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia have made this measure permanent. Other states are also considering allowing, extending, or making the cocktails to-go permanent.