Measure supports struggling hospitality businesses, heads to governor for signature
Today, the Virginia Legislature passed HB 426, a bill to extend cocktails to-go until July 1, 2024, in an effort to support hospitality businesses struggling to cope with the harsh economic impacts of COVID-19. The bill now heads to Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) for his signature.
“Virginia businesses and consumers are one step closer to enjoying cocktails to-go for an additional two years,” said David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “Not only does this measure provide increased convenience for consumers, but it also gives bars and restaurants a stable source of revenue as they work to recover from the pandemic. We are grateful the legislature acted to extend this consumer- and business-friendly measure and are hopeful the governor will sign this bill quickly.”
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 14 other states passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
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 passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 14 other states passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Some states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation.
States that passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent:
Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, 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 passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis:
California (expires December 31, 2026), Colorado (expires July 1, 2025), Connecticut (expires June 4, 2024), Delaware (expires March 31, 2022), Illinois (expires Jan. 3, 2024), Maine (expires Sept. 10, 2022), Maryland (local option – expires June 30, 2023), Massachusetts (expires May 1, 2022), Michigan (expires December 31, 2025), Rhode Island (expires March 1, 2022), Tennessee (expires July 1, 2023), Vermont (expires July 1, 2023), Virginia (expires July 1, 2024) 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.