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Legislation allowing take-out alcohol from restaurants through 2021 passes RI House

Rep. Jacquelyn M. Baginski’s (D-Dist. 17, Cranston) legislation (2021-H 5105A) allowing any Class B liquor license holder to sell certain amounts of beer, wine and mixed drinks with take-out food orders has passed the House of Representatives.

“While we all continue to battle against COVID-19 and its affects, this bill will help our restaurants continue to weather the economic storm brought on by the virus.  Without the ability to open and serve at full-capacity, our restaurants are in desperate need of every cent that comes their way.  This legislation will help keep their doors open, keep their employees paid, and hopefully support them enough until the state’s COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” said Representative Baginski.

Class B license holders include any business where the principal business is the furnishing of food and sleeping accommodations and any shop or place where a substantial part of the business is the furnishing of food for consumption at the place where it is furnished.

The legislation will allow businesses to sell up to two bottles of wine, 72 ounces of a mixed-wine drink, 144 ounces of beer, and mixed drinks with no more than nine ounces of distilled spirits.  All drinks must be sold in factory sealed containers or containers sealed in such a way as to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was removed or broken.

The bill states that any food delivery with alcoholic beverages is prohibited and would take effect upon passage and would sunset at the end of the year.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.


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