To-go cocktails are now permanently legal in Ohio effective immediately.
This Tuesday, Ohio became the 2nd state in the country to make the sale of to-go cocktails permanent after Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, bars and restaurants have had to utilize every resource at their disposal to stay afloat in this economically turbulent time. States America were quick to make moves that would loosen restrictions for these businesses’ revenue sources, with over 30 states signing measures that would permit these businesses to sell beer, wine, and mixed cocktails to-go.
However, many of the laws set into place were temporarily. For instance, the state of Illinois’ legal to-go cocktail initiative is marked with a one-year expiration date. On the other hand, Iowa make the sale of to-go distilled beverages permanent in late June.
Ohio’s “The Business Expansion Safety Act” Ohio’s grants further liberties to restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, by allowing the delivery of (up to 3) alcoholic drinks by third-party delivery services with the purchase of a meal for customers 21 and over. Accordingly, businesses must seal drinks before sale. Beverages can not be consumed on the premises. The bill also enables businesses with permits more outside private and public space to use in the service of customers, granted the approval of the local municipality.
“I am grateful to the governor for signing this critical legislation into law,” said Swearingen in a statement. “This bill is going to help our main street businesses, restaurant industry, and all of the waiters, waitresses, bartenders and Ohioans that rely on that industry to pay their bills.”
“During these unprecedented times, [Governor DeWine has] listened to the plight of Ohio’s restaurants and bars as they struggled to cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19,” the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States wrote in an open letter. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling on-premise locations and prevented the permanent closure of many of these businesses. Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses have increased stability despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.”