DeWine signs law making to-go cocktails permanent fixture in Ohio

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — To-go cocktails are now a permanent fixture in Ohio.

On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 669 into law, which allows bars, restaurants, small breweries, micro-distilleries and wineries to sell to-go alcoholic beverages.

The law went into effect immediately.

In April, while Ohioans were under the stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic, DeWine authorized establishments with liquor licenses to sell and deliver alcoholic drinks, with a two-drink limit.

HB 669 expands on that provision, making it permanent and adds some additional regulations.

According to the law, alcohol can only be sold to-go when accompanying a meal. Establishments may only sell up to three drinks per meal.

Alcohol must be sold in a covered cup or its original, sealed container.

Establishments must also make a “bona fide” attempt to ensure each customer who orders alcoholic drinks is at least 21 years old.

The law also allows food delivery services, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash or Grubhub, to deliver alcohol as long as they first register with state liquor authorities.

HB 669 also permits establishments to allow on-site drinking in parking lots and other outdoor areas that are “immediately adjacent” to their premises.

According to a press release from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, more than 30 states started allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio is only the second state, next to Iowa, to make the cocktails to-go measure permanent.

Other states, including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia, are also considering making their temporary policies permanent as well.

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