A bill making cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars permanent passed both chambers of the Ohio legislature today and heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for signature. Upon the governor’s signature, Ohio will become the second state in the nation to make permanent a cocktails to-go economic relief measure enacted in response to COVID-19.
“The legislature has recognized the desperate situation Ohio’s restaurants and bars are in and passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent to provide increased stability for these struggling businesses,” said David Wojnar, Vice President of State Government Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “With cocktails to-go, many Ohio businesses have escaped permanent closure, but with continued uncertainty in the months to come, permanency is needed. Governor DeWine was one of the first to implement cocktails to-go via executive order, and we are hopeful he will sign this legislation and make Ohio the second state to make cocktails to-go permanent in the COVID era.”
“We are incredibly thankful to Governor DeWine for his support of hospitality businesses during the pandemic,” said Suzanne Bohle, CRSA Executive Vice President. “Cocktails to-go have helped Ohio’s restaurants stay afloat, and making this measure permanent will create certainty for the future.”
Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Iowa became the first state to make a cocktails to-go measure in response to COVID-19 permanent on June 29. Ohio could be the second to do so. Other states, including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia are also considering making their policies permanent.
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.