Texas becomes 10th state to make a COVID-era cocktails to-go measure permanent
Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1024 making cocktails to-go permanent in the state – supporting hospitality businesses devastated by COVID-19 and providing increased convenience for consumers. Texas is the 10th state to make a COVID-era cocktails to-go measure permanent.
“Governor Abbott acted quickly to support Texas restaurants and bars by allowing cocktails to-go via executive order during the pandemic,” said Kristi Brown, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Director of State Government Relations. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling hospitality businesses and prevented the permanent closure of many. Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses will have increased stability as they begin the long path to recovery. We applaud the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott for supporting local businesses and for providing increased convenience to consumers.”
Other market modernization efforts are also moving through the Texas Legislature including one bill to allow seven-day spirits sales statewide (HB 937) and others that would allow local option elections for seven-day spirits sales (SB 1013; HB 2232).
“Recent polling shows that Texans overwhelmingly support modernizing Texas’ marketplace to bring consumers increased convenience and expanded access to spirits products,” said Brown.
According to a statewide poll released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, 65 percent of Texas voters support cocktails-to-go legislation; 65 percent of Texans support seven-day sales at liquor stores and craft distilleries; and 61 percent support allowing seven-day sales to be decided at the local level via local option election.
More than 30 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as a COVID economic relief measure. Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent. Dozens of other states are also considering legislation to extend or make permanent cocktails to-go measures.
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.