During the last two years, the restaurant industry took a huge hit as many people stopped going out to dinner, opting instead to stay in for the sake of their health. The sale of alcoholic beverages in particular suffered a lot, resulting in huge amounts of lost revenue during this time period. Some restaurants were hit so hard that they ended up shutting down.
In May of 2021, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 148 into law. This bill allows both dine-in restaurants and carry-out places to sell alcoholic beverages to go in the hope that this will help restaurants to recoup some of their losses.
What does the law allow under SB 148?
Under this law, consumers can have cocktails and other alcoholic beverages delivered to their homes. They may also get drinks to go with their carry-out meal. In order to comply with the law, the following must occur:
- Beverages must be sealed by restaurant staff in advance of pick up or delivery.
- Each beverage is limited to 32 ounces or less.
- The receipt must be affixed to the beverages.
- The beverages must be placed in a to-go container or bag, then sealed to keep them free from tampering.
- The beverages must be stored out of sight in the vehicle. They may be placed in the trunk, put in a locked glove box, or placed behind the last upright seat in the vehicle if the car does not have a trunk.
Consumers need to understand that this does not mean that Florida has become an open container state. By the same token, businesses that choose to sell alcohol in to-go containers need to make sure they remain compliant with the regulations so that they don’t put their liquor license in danger.