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New law makes to-go alcohol drinks permanent

Posted at 9:08 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 21:08:32-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A new bill signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear this week will allow bars and restaurants to continue selling to-go alcoholic beverages permanently.

Gov. Beshear issued an executive order in 2020 allowing alcohol to-go sales temporarily as a way for businesses to earn extra money while following coronavirus-related restrictions. J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar owner Gwyn Everly said they began selling cocktails to-go as soon as the executive order was announced.

“Anything you can do to increase your sales is absolutely a godsend because it’s tough,” Everly said. “We didn’t reach the [sales] levels that we were before, but it was better than a goose egg. It was more sales and sales helps you pay your bills.”

Everly said the new law could pave a way for them to increase sales even after the pandemic ends.

“With the added sales of curbside and with the added sales of alcohol to-go, it could end up being really good for us,” she said.

Under the new law, a business with a license to sell alcohol will be able to offer the to-go beverages as long as food sales make up at least 70% of their sales and they continue meeting the minimum seating capacity required by their license type.

The drinks must be packaged in a closed container that shows whether it has been tampered with.

The to-go alcoholic drinks cannot be served individually. They must be sold with a meal, and the law limits the sales per meal to what a “reasonable person would purchase with a meal.”

After a drink has been bought, the law also specifies the drinks must not be within reach of the driver and recommends it be put in the trunk of the car or a locked glove compartment.

You can find Senate Bill 67 here.