Florida Makes To-Go Alcohol Permanent After Gov DeSantis Signs Bill

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By Sharon Aron Baron

Gov Ron DeSantis lifted restrictions on alcohol-to-go early in the pandemic as a way to help restaurants when they were temporarily ordered to not able to seat customers. On Thursday, he signed a bill making the to-go option permanent.

The bill extends additional sales options, commonly referenced as alcohol-to-go, similar to measures implemented by emergency orders of Governor DeSantis during Florida’s state of emergency related to COVID-19.

“Alcoholic drinks to-go became an important source of revenue for restaurants that were trying to survive during the pandemic,” said Gov. DeSantis. “This law is an important measure to continue the positive economic impacts of a temporary order.”

Gov. DeSantis signed the bill at Houligan’s Sports Grille, an Ormond Beach-area restaurant that relied on the allowances of the Governor’s prior emergency orders over the past year as an added source of revenue during challenges associated with the pandemic.

Under Senate Bill 148, an eligible vendor that sells or delivers alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption must hold a public food service license, ensure the sale of food accompanies the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages in the same order, and comply with sealing and packaging requirements established in the bill. 

The law also requires the to-go drinks to be packed in a container and sealed by the licensee or its employee.

The new law goes into effect on July 1.

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