Statement by Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations Dale Szyndrowski
“The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit during COVID-19. The opportunity for Illinois’ restaurants to sell cocktails to-go will be a valuable economic lifeline as these businesses struggle to cope with the financial hardships caused by this pandemic. We applaud Governor Pritzker and the legislature for using innovative solutions to support local restaurants and bars and hope major cities like Chicago will act swiftly to allow cocktails to-go to provide Illinois businesses the support they need.”
Under the legislation, signed into law yesterday by Governor Pritzker, municipalities have local control to either opt out or make changes. The bill also ensures responsible service by requiring the use of sealed containers and that drinks be placed in the trunk or non-passenger compartments of the vehicle.
Currently, 33 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to deliver distilled spirits in some form. In addition, 14 states plus the District of Columbia are now permitting curbside pickup of distilled spirits from restaurants and/or bars.
Some states, including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia, are considering making these 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.