Gov. Cooper allows N.C. bars, restaurants to serve cocktails for carryout, delivery

Updated: Dec. 21, 2020 at 11:57 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed off to allow bars and restaurants to sell mixed alcoholic beverages for carryout and delivery.

Gov. Cooper signed the executive order authorizing the North Carolina ABC Commission to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption.

The order allows businesses, including restaurants, hotels, private clubs, private bars, and holders of distillery permits, to sell mixed beverages to-go (commonly referred to as cocktails), with limitations.

The order is effective from Dec. 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. through Jan. 31, 2021 at 5 p.m., unless otherwise modified or extended.

Businesses, deliverers, and buyers must follow the applicable restrictions in the order and any additional guidance established by the ABC Commission pertaining to the sale, delivery, and transport of mixed beverages to-go.

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, a nonprofit trade association of restaurant and lodging business owners, provided a document outlining the frequently asked questions of the order.

According to the FAQ documents, the state believes allowing delivery of mixed beverages decreases customer-to-customer interactions between people who are not members of the same household. Officials also believe this would significantly reduce customer-to-employee interactions, thereby significantly reducing the likelihood of viral spread.

In delivery, the buyer would have to provide proof of identification at the point of delivery. In addition, delivery may only be made to the individual who purchased the mixed beverage and whose name appears on or with the mixed beverage container and must match the identification of the person who takes actual possession of the alcohol.

In the event of delivery of multiple alcoholic beverages to one location, the deliverer must verify the identification of each person and only that person may take actual possession.

This order does not modify existing laws and regulations governing the sale of beer and wine.

Consistent with applicable law, people over the age of 21 may order one mixed beverage drink per person to-go. This does not mean only one drink may be delivered per house, because multiple people at the same address may each be a separate buyer.

Each buyer of a mixed beverage must be present to receive the mixed beverage.

This order does not require that the sale of mixed beverages be accompanied by the sale of food.

Guests picking up mixed-beverages for off-premises consumption must be 21 years old, not visibly intoxicated, and must show valid identification before taking possession of mixed beverages.

Each person ordering a drink must be present at pickup so the seller may verify the person’s age and that they are not visibly intoxicated.

The order states businesses are allowed remain open for the provision of take-out and delivery services. They shall otherwise remain closed to the public after 10 p.m.

Mixed beverages should not be larger than the seller’s standard size of a mixed beverage drink for on-premises consumption.

An employee or agent of the business or a third-party delivery service authorized by state law may deliver mixed beverages to-go. However, the deliverer must have successfully completed the course for delivery service offered by the ABC Commission, be at least 21 years old, and meet the other requirements in the order.

Anyone delivering a mixed beverage on behalf of a business, including an employee, agent, or third-party delivery service, must have proof of their authorization to deliver the mixed beverage on the business’s behalf.

Mixed beverages sold for off-site consumption must be delivered before a business closes and no later than 2 a.m., in accordance with state law. Businesses and deliverers should check with their local jurisdictions for other applicable restrictions.

According to the FAQ, under this order, delivery may not be made to a public school, college, or university, or any other place where such delivery is restricted by state law.

The Modified Stay at Home Order remains in effect and the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption must still cease at 9 p.m.

Businesses subject to the order may continue to sell mixed beverages for off-site consumption until their business closes and in accordance with other applicable laws and regulations.

The Council of State concurred with this order, Gov. Cooper said.

Read the Executive Order.

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