Florida Senate passes bill to make alcohol to-go, delivery orders permanent

Published: April 7, 2021 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: April 7, 2021 10:25 PM EDT

Alcohol to go is close to becoming a permanent option in Florida after it became something businesses added to delivery orders due to the pandemic.

The Florida Senate passed a bill Wednesday allowing people in Florida to get alcoholic drinks to go when ordering takeout food or delivery. Soon the Florida House will take up a similar measure.

We spoke to people about these measures in Fort Myers, where no one we spoke to had any objections.

“I’m not a big drinker, but I’m happy when people can exercise their freedoms,” Karen Long said. “And if you’ve paid for it, why not be able to go?”

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing alcoholic beverages in to-go orders to help businesses during the safer at home order in 2020.

Now, the Florida legislature is working to make this a more permanent solution.

“We were not really prepared for this, and with change, there comes new laws and new things to be done,” Trevor Terry said.

“They did it during the pandemic, and it seems like it worked,” Tom Shortreed said. “So let’s leave that freedom there. Why take it away?”

The bill caps the alcohol container at 32 oz. You also have to order food with it. When it leaves the restaurant, the drinks have to be closed, put in a locked compartment or in the backseat out of the driver’s reach.

“As long as people can be disciplined and not be drunk and causing accidents and things of that nature, I see no reason why we should be able to adapt to that situation,” Terry said.

If you don’t finish that bottle of wine at dinner, you can take that bottle home too as long as it’s resealed.

Should the governor sign this bill into law, it would go into effect July 1.

“Be responsible, and be respectful of people,” Terry said.