SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A proposal in the California legislature to permanently allow to-go cocktail sales, which began as a measure to help struggling bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, moves closer to approval.
In a 36-0 vote, Senate Bill 389 by State Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), was approved by the State Senate on Monday.READ MORE: Santa Clara Shoe Store Ransacked in Late Night Smash-and-Grab Robbery
The measure would permanently authorize bars and restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic beverages, with or without ordering food. California is among 33 states that have temporarily allowed the sale of to-go cocktails during the pandemic.
“If allowing restaurants to sell carry-out cocktails helps keep their doors open, we must do it,” Dodd said in a statement. “This is about preserving jobs and getting our economy back on track.”READ MORE: COVID Omicron: Rush To Vaccinate In East Bay As New Variant Emerges
Under the measure, to-go cocktails must be packaged in a secured or sealed container and must be clearly labeled as alcoholic beverages. Establishments must also display signage warning patrons of state open container laws.
The bill also calls for safeguards enforced by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control to ensure alcohol is not sold to minors, according to Dodd’s office.
“Californians are one step closer to enjoying cocktails to-go on a permanent basis which would provide stability for the state’s hospitality businesses that have been devastated by COVID-19,” said Adam Smith of Distilled Spirits Council, which is backing the measure.MORE NEWS: Lee Elder, 1st Black Golfer To Play Masters, Dies At Age 87
Senate Bill 389 now goes to the Assembly for consideration. It was not immediately known when the measure would be up for a vote.