Michigan Senate Passes Bill to Permanently Allow Cocktails To-Go
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Senate yesterday passed SB1163, a bill that would permanently allow the sale of cocktails to-go from restaurants, bars and distilleries with tasting rooms. The bill, which passed by a vote of 37-1, now goes to the House for consideration.
“Cocktails to-go continue to provide a stable source of revenue as Michigan businesses cope with the lasting challenges related to the pandemic, including staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation,” said Andy Deloney, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. “This is a great step towards offering increased support for Michigan’s hospitality businesses.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) signed HB 5811 into law in July 2020 allowing cocktails to-go in sealed containers until Jan. 1, 2026.
“Cocktails to-go were instrumental in helping many Michigan distilleries navigate and survive the challenges of COVID,” said Jon O’Connor, owner of Long Road Distillers and president of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association. “Making permanent cocktails to-go will allow consumers to enjoy safely, comfortably and responsibly from home, the amazing spirits made here in Michigan and will help Michigan distilleries to recover and thrive as hospitality trends continue to change with consumer demands. ”
“The hospitality industry has been devastated over the last couple of years, and making consumer-friendly measures like cocktails to-go permanent gives these businesses an opportunity to recover and a sense of stability for the future,” said Conrad Haremza, Michigan Spirits Association President. “We applaud the Michigan Senate for taking up and passing this bill and Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr., for his leadership.”
During COVID-19, more than 35 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as an economic relief measure via executive orders or other temporary measures. Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 14 others enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Some states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation.
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, 2023), Michigan (expires January 1, 2026), Tennessee (expires July 1, 2023), Vermont (expires July 1, 2023), Virginia (expires July 1, 2022) and Washington (expires July 1, 2023) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
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.