Thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, many Florida restaurants will be allowed to continue selling alcohol with take-home and delivered food orders. The law, which officially takes effect on July 1, extends an executive order signed by Gov. DeSantis last year to help restaurants stay afloat.
Under the law, for restaurants to be able to sell alcoholic beverages to customers who are not dining in their establishment, they must have a special license, and over half of their revenue must come from sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Those establishments with regular licenses can sell alcohol to go if at least 60% of their revenue comes from offerings other than alcohol.
Florida’s “open container” law
This law does not change Florida’s “open container” law, which prohibits alcoholic beverages in vehicles if they’re in a container that’s “immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken.”
Restaurants are permitted to provide alcohol to go or for delivery only with food orders and only to customers who are at least 21. They can only provide the alcohol in secured containers.
Under the open container law, if someone is driving off with one of these containers, it must be placed in a “locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked nonpassenger area of the vehicle.” It cannot be in the possession or “physical control” of a passenger.
The alcohol-to-go option provides convenience to customers. However, if you aren’t fully aware of the open container law or get impatient to take a swig of your drink on your way home after a long day at work, you could find yourself facing criminal charges, including DUI. It’s important to take these charges seriously. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and protection of your rights.