New Gopal Bill Allows Alcohol Takeout and Delivery at New Jersey Restaurants, Bars & Beverage Manufcturers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Legislation allows alcoholic beverage manufacturers and retail consumption licensees to sell and deliver products during a declared state of emergency.

OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Senator Vin Gopal introduced new legislation this week that would allow licensed restaurants, bars, and craft beverage producers such as wineries, breweries, and distilleries to sell alcoholic beverages through takeout and delivery during the current state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the bill (S2413), restaurants and bars would also be permitted to sell alcoholic cocktails and mixed drinks. These drinks must be delivered or sold in closed or sealed containers that hold 16 fluid ounces or less each. Any other alcoholic beverage may be sold or delivered in containers of any size.

These establishments would also be permitted to continue delivering these alcoholic beverages for six months after the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

“Restaurants and our hospitality businesses have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, and we need to do all we can to help this vital industry stay afloat,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “With dining rooms and bars closed across our state, it makes no sense to ban restaurants and craft beverage manufacturers from offering alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery, especially when liquor stores are already empowered to do the same. Allowing them to continue selling cocktails and other beverages directly to customers would be a small way to help this hard-hit industry regain some of the revenues they’ve lost. “

The bill would also exempt alcohol used to produce hand sanitizer from the state alcoholic beverage tax, and allow distilleries that have already paid these taxes on alcohol used to produce hand sanitizer to receive refunds on their payments.

Senator Vin Gopal represents New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Senate, where he works to make the Garden State more affordable for its hard-working residents. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.