State Rep Serves Up Revenue-Enhancing Bill

Recently, Representative Toby Overdorf of Palm City sponsored new legislation that permits to-go sales of mixed drinks and frozen cocktails containing alcohol for bars and restaurants that hold a liquor license.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, state rules prohibited establishments from selling mixed drinks and frozen cocktails in to-go containers. After the pandemic struck, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation teamed with Governor Ron DeSantis to revise the rules.

However, this easing of regulations is not a permanent change, with the temporary allowance scheduled to expire once Florida’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends. HB 449, Rep. Overdorf’s bill, will change that and offer bars and restaurants even more income opportunities.

New Legislation Looks Likely

The to-go drinks will still need to be sealed, and local rules governing drinking in public and open container laws will still apply.

While Rep. Overdorf’s bill doesn’t currently have a companion bill in the state Senate, similar legislation has been offered. Senator Jennifer Bradley supports a bill that allows mixed drinks to be delivered, provided that the drinks are included in a food order. Representative Josie Tomkow and Senator Jeff Brandes have presented similar legislation.

It appears clear to us that some form of a bill allowing alcohol to-go sales is likely to emerge from this year’s session, with Governor DeSantis already on record as supporting a change in state law. When discussing the temporary change in September 2020, DeSantis stated, “I’m for it being permanent, and I think that you’ll probably get a pretty good reception in the Legislature.” It appears Representatives and Senators heard his message.

Now’s the Time to Upgrade Your License

If you currently hold a beer and wine license, this news should have you on the search for a liquor license for your bar or restaurant. Not only will you be able to enjoy an immediate increase in sales while pandemic-related restrictions are in effect, but you’ll also enjoy steady sales as constraints get lifted and people start getting out and about more.

We’re Here to Help

At Liquor License FL, our experienced team cuts through bureaucratic red tape and helps our clients find the license they need in days rather than weeks. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in these uncertain times.

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