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State House passes bill making to-go cocktail sales permanent at restaurants and bars

House Bill 1154 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Note: The video is from May 15.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to pass a bill that would allow restaurants and bars in the commonwealth to sell mixed drinks to-go on a permanent basis.

House Bill 1154 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill would make permanent a law signed by Governor Tom Wolf in May 2020, which was intended to be a temporary measure to help bars and restaurants that were shut down during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporters of the bill passed Tuesday say allowing to-go cocktails will help businesses continue their rebound once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Under the law, establishments are permitted to sell mixed drinks in containers with a secure lid in quantities of at least 4 ounces, and no more than 64 ounces before 11 p.m. 

The law does not apply to beer or wine.

The original law signed by Wolf only applied to restaurants or hotels that had liquor licenses and that had lost more than 25% of their average monthly sales during the pandemic. It was designed to remain in effect until operations exceeded 60 percent of capacity.

It still remains illegal in Pennsylvania to have open containers of alcohol inside a vehicle. To-go cocktails must be transported in the vehicle's trunk, or in some other area not occupied by passengers, the law states.

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