WASHINGTON, USA — A popular takeout option introduced during the pandemic is now permanent in the state of Washington.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday that permanently allows restaurants and bars in Washington to serve to-go cocktails. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2023, and makes Washington the 20th state to allow to-go beer, wine and mixed drinks.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) said it is glad to see Washington become another state to allow this service.
“There is no doubt cocktails to-go provided much-needed support for businesses during the pandemic, and now bars and restaurants can count on this critical revenue stream permanently. Plus, adult consumers will continue to enjoy their favorite cocktails with their takeout orders," said Adam Smith, the vice president of DISCUS state government affairs. "We thank the Washington Legislature and Governor Inslee for codifying this consumer- and business-friendly measure into law.”
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) announced in April 2020 that restaurants with a "Spirits, Beer, and Wine (S/B/W)" license can sell pre-mixed cocktails to-go during the stay-at-home order. In April 2021, Inslee extended that rule for another two years.
That extension was set to expire on June 30, 2023, but the new law permanently allows certain beverage alcohol licensees to sell to-go cocktails with some rules.
People ordering a cocktail to go must also order a complete meal, cocktails need to be in a container with a secure lid or cap to prevent consumption without the removal of the lid or cap, and pre-mixed cocktails must be placed in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where the driver can't reach it.
The following states have passed legislation making to-go cocktails permanent:
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
Lea la historia en español aquí.
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