Virginia House & Senate pass bill to extend to-go cocktails until 2024

Some businesses are tapping into the growing number of people who are searching for an alternative to alcohol, beyond sparkling water or soda.
Posted at 3:35 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 16:31:33-05

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Senate has now passed a bill to extend to-go cocktails until 2024.

HB 426is a bill that extends cocktails to-go until July 1, 2024 and the Virginia Senate vote came after the House had already voted to pass it.

The House says the bill is an effort to support hospitality businesses struggling to cope due to pandemic.

Current law states that to-go drinks will only be available until July 1, 2022.

“Cocktails to-go have been an economic lifeline for Virginia’s hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic, and consumers have grown accustomed to the increased convenience,” said David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “In fact, states all across the U.S. are taking action to extend or make cocktails to-go permanent. We are excited to see Virginia on that list. We applaud the Virginia House for taking action to support hospitality businesses and urge the Senate to do the same.”

16 states and D.C. have passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 14 other states passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.

“Virginia restaurants showed overwhelming support for the continuation of cocktails-to-go in a survey we conducted late last year, with an approval rate of 93 percent,” Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association. “This is a big win for the industry as restaurants continue to recover and seek creative ways to keep their doors open.”

The bill now heads to Governor Youngkin's desk for consideration.