Regulatory policy

‘Cocktails to go’ policy extended in Virginia through 2024

RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed two bills Monday that will extend the state’s “to-go cocktails” policy through July 1, 2024. The policy allows patrons to remove alcoholic beverages restaurants and bars, or have them delivered to their homes.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia began allowing restaurants and bars to sell alcoholic beverages to take out as an economic relief measure. The two bills Youngkin signed — HB 426 and SB 254 — extend the take-out cocktail policy for another two years.

“Virginia’s bars and restaurants can rest a little easier knowing that to-go cocktails are here for another two years,” said David Wojnar, senior vice president and chief public policy officer for the States Distilled Spirits Council. -United. statement on Monday.

“This revenue-generating measure has provided much-needed support for local hotel businesses and increased convenience for Virginia consumers,” Wojnar said.

During the pandemic, more than 35 states, including Virginia, began allowing restaurants and bars to sell alcohol for takeout. Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow take-out cocktails.

Along with the District of Columbia, states that passed legislation to make take-out cocktails permanent were Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri , Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Rhode Island. , Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In April 2020, at the start of the pandemic, former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam endorsed mixed drink delivery in an effort to alleviate the economic hardships being felt by restaurants and other parts of the hospitality industry.

The Virginia General Assembly then passed a bill in early 2021 allowing restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages and cocktails to go. The measure was due to end in July 2022.

The bills signed by Youngkin on Monday outline several regulations required for restaurants and delivery people. These include clearly labeled container requirements, ounce limits, storage in a sealed container or the trunk of a car, and compliance with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.