Since the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year, there have been some unprecedented changes.
Many businesses were forced to close their doors for several weeks, schools closed, and sit-down dining all became to-go food temporarily. These changing restrictions have put a financial strain on several small business owners. To try and keep these people in business, many states have implemented looser coronavirus alcohol laws.
Alcohol to Go In MassachusettsDuring the coronavirus pandemic, several states began loosening their liquor laws to try and give local businesses a boost. While some states jumped right to allowing take-away cocktails during the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts only allowed to-go beer and wine until recently.
On July 20th, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill that now allows bar and restaurants to sell cocktails to go in Massachusetts. The bill is an extension of the state’s Restaurant Relief Act that includes loosened restriction in other areas of business. This new development comes in the wake of the many ups and downs of the coronavirus pandemic to try and keep businesses afloat amid the prolonged restrictions.
The law does come with some stipulations. Customers can only order two drinks per entrée. The total limit of to-go alcohol is also capped at 64 fluid ounces per order. On their end, restaurants must sell the to-go cocktail in a concealed container and match their in-house ratios of alcohol to mixer. The law also only permits the sale of liquor to go in Massachusetts until the state eventually lifts their state of emergency, which was enacted on March 10th in response to the growing concerns of COVID-19.1
While many bars and restaurants are now rejoicing at the ability to sell cocktails to go in Massachusetts, not everyone is happy with this new law. Those opposed fear that this temporary provision could be made permanent and lead to problems down the road. Along with being bad for some businesses like liquor stores, some people fear that people in need of alcohol abuse treatment in Massachusetts could increase. In fact, there is research to suggest that stricter liquor laws are associated with fewer drinking problems in that area.2 As a drug rehab center in Boston, we will be closely watching the impact of this new law.
If you or someone you love already has a drinking problem, do not wait to get help. Alcohol abuse can be dangerous and easier access to liquor could make problems worse. At Banyan Massachusetts, we can help you or you loved one put the days of drinking in the past and work toward a brighter future.
To get more information about our services or to take the first step to sobriety, reach out to us immediately at 888-280-4763.
- Massachusetts Legislature- An Act relative to restaurant relief
- CNN- Stricter state alcohol access rules can save 800 DUI deaths a year, study says