Ohio poised to become 2nd state to make permanent the temporary measure in response to COVID

A bill to make cocktails to-go from restaurants and bars permanent in Ohio passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee today and now heads to the Senate for a vote.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) submitted testimony in support of the measure, HB 669, earlier this month underscoring the need to support hospitality businesses by creating stability and certainty in the marketplace.

“Restaurants and bars have been devastated by COVID-19, and cocktails to-go have been an important lifeline,” said David Wojnar DISCUS Vice President of State Government Relations. “While out-door dining and other relief measures have been helpful in combating the negative impacts, uncertainty continues to burden businesses especially as we enter into the colder months. By making cocktails to-go permanent, Ohio’s restaurants and bars can plan for the future and better position themselves for recovery. We encourage the legislature to take up this measure as soon as possible and get these businesses the support they need.”

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. On June 29, Iowa became the first state in the nation to make cocktails to-go permanent after it was enacted as a temporary economic measure in response to COVID-19.  Ohio could soon 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.