Could alcohol-to-go from restaurants become law?

Writer: Derrick Shaw

Could you get alcohol to-go from restaurants even after the pandemic?

It’s something that could help businesses make ends meet, and the governor said he’s on board.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order in late March that lifted restrictions against restaurants selling packaged alcohol for delivery, takeout or consumption off-premises.

During a roundtable discussion Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence, DeSantis said this helped restaurants tremendously during a difficult time.

“We also did alcohol delivery. The restaurants could deliver the meal and alcohol as well. It’s been incredibly helpful,” the governor said.

He hinted two weeks ago that he’d like to change the law and make this permanent.

Under current restrictions, restaurants like Cantina Laredo can operate inside at 50 percent capacity. They said the possibility of being able to continue to do alcohol-to-go will help their bottom line.

“It’s been fantastic. We were able to sell margaritas by the gallon, sangria by the gallon,” said manager Joe Valenza. “To-go orders have been through the roof since we reopened and the fact we can do alcohol, people love it.”

U.S. online alcohol sales have jumped 243 percent during the pandemic. Experts say the peak of alcohol sales happened the week before safer-at-home orders went into effect across the country.

Cantina Laredo said they aren’t selling single drinks to go, only in bulk to make sure people aren’t drinking and driving.

Law enforcement says the seal on alcohol containers in cars cannot be broken or it would be in violation of the open container law. Any containers should also be out of the driver’s reach.

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