x
Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Gov. Ron DeSantis makes 'alcohol-to-go' permanent in Florida

The widely-welcomed move was put in place when coronavirus kept people at home and restaurants relied heavily on takeout and delivery orders.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — A program temporarily put in place by a March executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis allowing to-go and delivery orders of alcohol is here to stay.

The governor signed the "alcohol-to-go" bill into law Thursday morning in Ormond Beach.

The industry-backed bill (SB 148) will allow restaurants to continue to sell alcoholic drinks with take-home meals. The widely-welcomed move was put in place when coronavirus kept people at home and restaurants relied heavily on takeout and delivery orders.   

DeSantis explained that "alcohol-to-go" boosted sales during arguably the most difficult year the restaurant industry has ever faced.

“In spite of having a lot of challenges over the past year, we’re really thriving," the governor said.

He added that this legislation will allow for restaurants to continue their momentum.

The sponsor of SB148, Republican Sen. Jennifer Bradley, was also there for the signing. She praised Gov. DeSantis' efforts to support the restaurant industry in Florida. 

"When other states are shutting down, our governor was looking for ways to stay open," Bradley said.

The "alcohol-to-go" bill allows "certain food service establishments to sell or deliver certain alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption under certain circumstances."

So, what are those circumstances? To qualify, the establishment must derive at least 51 percent of its revenue from the sale of food and non-alcoholic drinks. It also needs to meet certain size and service standards to be included.

Beyond that, all orders placed, including alcohol, must be accompanied by a food purchase. And all alcohol that leaves the premises in an order must be sealed, though the bill does not specify in what manner. 

The bill also looks to allow diners to take home an unsealed bottle of wine for later consumption, as long as it was purchased on-site with a meal, was already partially consumed and is resealed before taken home.

Regardless, any alcohol removed is required to be placed in a locked compartment, trunk, or out of reach in vehicles to abide by Florida law.

Watch the full press conference below.

RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs coastal resiliency bill

What other people are reading right now:

►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter