On Thursday, the Maine House of Representatives gave final approval to LD 201, legislation to allow cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars permanently. The bill now heads to Governor Janet Mills’ desk for signature. The Maine Senate passed the bill earlier in the week.
“Consumers across the state have enjoyed cocktails to-go for the last few years, and making this option permanent increases convenience while supporting local business,” said Andy Deloney, senior vice president & head of state public policy at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “We are grateful the Maine legislature recognized the benefits of cocktails to-go for consumers and hospitality businesses and passed this legislation. We urge the governor to make cocktails to-go permanent in Maine like so many other states have done following the pandemic.”
The legislation would permanently allow certain beverage alcohol licensees to sell beer, wine and approved mixed drinks with a food purchase. Under the legislation, mixed drinks must be in sealed containers, appropriately labeled and placed in the trunk or non-passenger compartments of a vehicle.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 14 others have enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Numerous states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation.
The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.
States that signed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent into law:
Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.
States that signed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis into law:
California (expires December 31, 2026), Colorado (expires July 1, 2025), Connecticut (expires June 4, 2024), Illinois (expires January 3, 2024), Maine (expires March 30, 2025), Maryland (local option – expires June 30, 2023), Massachusetts (expires April 1, 2024), Michigan (expires January 1, 2026), New Jersey (TBD), New York (expires April 9, 2025), Tennessee (expires July 1, 2023), Vermont (expires July 1, 2023), Virginia (expires July 1, 2024) and Washington (expires July 1, 2023) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.