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Politics / Issues
Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

'Alcohol-To-Go' Now Permanent In Florida After DeSantis Signs Bill

Liquor bottles on a counter
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media
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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the "alcohol-to-go" bill into law on May 13, 2021.

Restaurants were allowed to sell alcohol to go to help boost sales hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida restaurants will be able to sell cocktails along with delivery and take-out food orders.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday at an Ormond Beach restaurant making alcohol to go permanent.

DeSantis lifted restrictions on alcohol to go early in the coronavirus pandemic as a way to help restaurants when they were temporarily ordered to not seat customers.

But alcohol to go continues and the idea proved popular with customers.

DeSantis said the boost to restaurants worked well and he and lawmakers liked the idea of making it permanent.

After lawmakers gave final approval to the measure on Wednesday, Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, issued a statement that said alcohol to go “continues to be an important source of revenue for restaurants that are struggling to survive.”

Drinks will need to be placed in secured containers and placed in locked compartments, vehicle trunks or in areas behind the last upright seats in vehicles.

The law requires cutting off the sale of to-go drinks — mixed or in bottles — when restaurants’ scheduled food service ends for the day or at midnight, whichever occurs first.

Information from News Service of Florida was used in this report.

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