COLUMBUS — A bill proposed and passed by the Ohio statehouse of Representatives would make the carryout sale of alcoholic drinks and cocktails a permanent option for restaurants across the Buckeye State to offer to customers.
House Bill 666, proposed by representatives D.J. Swearingen and Jeff LeRae, passed the House Wednesday and is another step in to make the sale of to-go drinks permanent.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States supported the bill with the following testimony, “Making cocktails to-go permanent in Ohio will help generate much-needed revenue for hospitality businesses struggling to cope with the economic hardships caused by COVID-19,” said David Wojnar, DISCUS vice president of state government relations. “This consumer- and business-friendly measure will provide an important boost to Ohio’s economy and help local businesses get back on their feet. We encourage the Senate to pass this measure as soon as possible.”
The attempted passing of this measure is to lend aid to the restaurant business and also lifts a provision which prevented the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks. At the beginning of April, Governor Mike DeWine announced a provision from the executive branch of the state government which would allow the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks while the state’s stay-at-home orders remained in place.
As a result of the stay-at-home orders and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are among the state’s hardest-hit job losses since the beginning of March. As of May 22, Ohio’s unemployment rate had reached 16.8% — the state’s highest since the current record-keeping system was implemented nearly a half-century ago.
House Bill 666, if passed, would not restrict users as to how many drinks they may purchase from a restaurant and would also allow third-party delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats to deliver alcoholic drinks.
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