It’s now legal to get alcoholic beverages with your take-out or food delivery in Florida, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But how does that work? Can you grab your beer and hop in your car?
Not exactly. Let’s take a look at what the new law lets you do.
Can you get drinks to go in Florida?
Yes. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 148, the so-called alcohol-to-go bill, into law Thursday. This makes permanent what was a temporary emergency order to help bars and restaurants offset the losses they received during the mandatory COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.
Cheers! DeSantis signs drinks-to-go bill at Houligan’s in Ormond Beach
Read the law: CS/SB 148: Beverage Law
Can I drink and drive in Florida?
Absolutely not. To comply with the law, to-go orders of alcoholic drinks must:
- Be sealed in advance by the restaurant or bar staff
- Have the receipt of purchase attached to the beverage
- Be placed in a bag or container that’s sealed in such a manner as to make tampering obvious
- Be put into either a locked glove box, container, trunk or – in the case of vehicles without a trunk – behind the last upright seat of the vehicle.
You can take ’em home, you just can’t drink ’em before you get there.
Can I just order alcohol to go under the new Florida law?
No, it has to be part of an order that also includes food or non-alcoholic beverages, and they have to account for at least 40% of the total order (not counting manufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages).
Can I get drinks to go from any Florida restaurant or bar?
The business must be licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, and it must be a restaurant or bar whose sales are at least 51% food.
From 2020:Cocktails-to-go may become a permanent option in Florida
More:Florida senators offer double shot of ‘alcohol to go’ for restaurants, other establishments
More:Should to-go cocktails last beyond pandemic? States consider changing alcohol laws
If I’m eating at a restaurant in Florida, can I take the rest of my drink home?
As long as you ordered it with a meal, you can take the rest of your bottle of wine home.
But the bottle must be resealed by the restaurant staff, with the receipt for the meal attached; it also must be in a sealed bag and transported in a locked container, a trunk, or behind the last upright seat of the vehicle.
Can I order a bottle of Jack Daniels with my meal in Florida?
The law covers bottles of wine (see above) and both wine-based and liquor-based drinks in sealed containers, but it specifically does not authorize “public food service establishments licensed under this subparagraph to sell a bottle of distilled spirits sealed by a manufacturer.” So cocktails or manufacturer-sealed bottles of wine-based drinks or beer are in, bottles of liquor are not.
Can I get alcoholic drinks delivered in Florida?
Yes, the law allows for food delivery services to bring you alcoholic beverages along with your take-out meal. But the delivery driver must be 21 or older — something the vendor is required to verify — and must keep the drinks locked up during transport (see above).
Can I get drinks to go all night in Florida?
Sorry. Sales of to-go drinks are cut off either when the restaurant’s or bar’s food service ends for the day, or at midnight, whichever comes first.
C. A. Bridges is a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter at @cabridges
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