Restaurants can now sell alcoholic beverages to go during shelter in place

By Allen Payton

To help restaurants remain in business, on Thursday, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) issued a notice of regulatory relief for restaurants so they can now sell alcoholic beverages to go. The “regulatory relief is designed to support the alcoholic beverage industry in its efforts to assist California in slowing the spread of the virus while assisting the industry in dealing with the economic challenges it is facing as a result.”

The notice on the ABC’s website includes the following:

“In addition to selling manufacturer pre-packaged containers…, bona fide eating places (i.e., restaurants) selling beer, wine, and pre-mixed drinks or cocktails for consumption off the licensed premises may do so when sold in conjunction with meals prepared for pick-up or delivery. Any such alcoholic beverages must be packaged in a container with a secure lid or cap and in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap (e.g., no lids with sipping holes or openings for straws). Further, any licensee selling such beverages for off-sale consumption shall prominently post the following warning in a manner that puts consumers on notice of limitations regarding open container laws:

Alcoholic beverages that are packaged by this establishment are open containers and may not be transported in a motor vehicle except in the vehicle’s trunk; or, if there is no trunk, the container may be kept in some other area of the vehicle that is not normally occupied by the driver or passengers (which does not include a utility compartment or glove compartment (Vehicle Code Section 23225)). Further, such beverages may not be consumed in public or in any other area where open containers are prohibited by law.

‘Post’ means to prominently display on the premises, post online, or present in whatever manner is necessary to ensure that the consumer purchasing, or delivery person transporting, such beverages is given notice of this warning.

Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of California, Article XX, Section 22, and in furtherance of Governor Newsom’s emergency declarations and orders regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is temporarily suspending enforcement of specific legal prohibitions.

The Department has carefully considered the public’s health, safety, and welfare in providing this relief, and the Department has concluded that none of these measures, exercised on a temporary basis, will jeopardize the public’s health, safety, or welfare. In lieu of individual requests for relief submitted to the Department, the temporary relief from the regulatory requirements set forth in this notice are applicable to all affected Department licensees and will continue until further notice.”

See the list of open restaurants and other businesses in Antioch at www.antiochherald.com/open-businesses.

 

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