WA keeps the party going as ‘to-go cocktails’ become law

Apr 21, 2023, 11:02 AM

cocktails to-go...

The state has made to-go cocktails a law. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

What started out as a way to help businesses get through the pandemic will now become a lifestyle in the state. ‘To-go cocktails” are here to stay. (Or at least through this summer!)

A new law will allow bars and restaurants to continue to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks as takeout. It will continue to allow the practice until July 2023, while the Liquor Control Board (LCB) gets an independent study of the impact.

The Washington State Senate gave final approval Tuesday to Senate Bill 5448, legislation making it legal for restaurants and breweries to serve cocktails to-go permanently. Gov. Jay Inslee has signed it into law.

It does not authorize the sale of full bottles of spirits for off-premises consumption, although mini-bottles may be sold as part of cocktail kits. A complete meal must be sold with the “to-go” drink.

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The “to-go” drinks must be packaged in containers that are sealed in a manner designed to prevent consumption without the removal of a tamper-evident lid, cap, or seal.

“We are grateful the Washington legislature recognized the benefits of cocktails to-go for consumers and hospitality businesses and passed this legislation,” said Adam Smith, vice president of state government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

“Consumers across the state have enjoyed cocktails to-go for the last few years, and making this option permanent increases convenience while supporting local business.”

No more cannabis testing as a condition of employment

Also signed into law is a bill that prohibits companies from testing for cannabis use before hiring.

The state law only covers drug tests before hiring. An employer could still test you for cannabis once you have a job and could still make a hiring decision based on a drug test that doesn’t include cannabis.

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WA keeps the party going as ‘to-go cocktails’ become law