Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed the alcohol-to-go SB 148 into law, authorizing vendors of alcoholic beverages who also hold a public food license to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages prepared by the vendor in sealed containers. The signing of this bill will help struggling businesses get important sources of revenue to, “survive during the pandemic,” according to the Governor.
Under Senate Bill 148, an eligible vendor that sells or delivers alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption must hold a public food service license, ensure the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages is accompanied by the sale of food in the same order, and comply with sealing and packaging requirements established in the bill. The vendor, or the agent or employee of the vendor making the delivery, is also responsible for verifying and documenting valid proof of the recipient’s identity and age at the time of delivery pursuant to provisions of Florida’s Beverage Law regarding deliveries.
DeSantis further described the law as, “an important measure to continue the positive economic impacts of a temporary order.” The Governor then went on to thank members of the legislature but in particular Senator Jennifer Bradley (R-5) and Rep. Josie Tomkow (R-39) for being ready to, “create common-sense reforms that got government out of the way and increased opportunity with the pandemic.”
Although alcohol to-go may be a new concept for many, Senator Bradley has described it as a “lifeline” for restaurants to stay afloat during the pandemic. Bradley elaborated, “As we emerge from the pandemic, this option that has helped our restaurants survive financially should be permanent,” adding, “Thank you to Governor DeSantis for signing this important legislation to do just that and support our hardworking restaurant industry and its customers.”
Since its signing, even Uber, which now delivers food, issued a statement, thanking leadership for their contribution:
“Thank you to Gov. DeSantis for signing the alcohol delivery legislation into law, and to both Sen. Bradley and Rep. Tomkow, as well as House and Senate leadership, for prioritizing SB 148/HB 329 and ensuring that alcohol delivery remains a permanent option for Florida restaurants. The overwhelming, bipartisan support emphasizes the positive economic impact that alcohol delivery has had on restaurant owners and their ability to maintain successful businesses during COVID-19, while also helping to steady Florida’s local economies.”