ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, legislation will authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages ‘To-Go’ for New York’s bars and restaurants, in addition to a temporary commission to examine reforms to modernize the state’s alcoholic beverage control law. Alcoholic beverages to go are now legal as part of the enacted FY 2023 State Budget for off-premises consumption for three years.

Officials said the legislation will allow for bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages “To-Go” off-premises for a period of three years under appropriate limitations. Additionally, concerns of public consumption are addressed by making clear in the law that all to-go containers must comply with municipal open container laws.

The legislation amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC) that would authorize licensed restaurants and bars that sell alcohol or wine for on-premises consumption to also sell these products for off-premises consumption. The legislation, which prohibits sales by the bottle, will permit the sale of alcoholic beverages ‘To-Go’ with an order of a substantial food item. Beverages are to be sealed containers and only sold during the county’s closing hours in effect where the business operates.

In addition, alcoholic beverages ‘To-Go’ for take-out deliveries will become the responsibility of the licensing agent or employee of the licensee making the delivery to ensure the consumer has a valid ID, verifying the consumer’s identity and age. The legislation further calls for a comprehensive look at all ABC laws to create a review commission to report on recommended improvements for businesses and consumers. 

With further funding provided by the state budget, a temporary commission will be created to study reforms of the ABC Laws. Officials said the commission will be tasked with analyzing and making recommendations to modernize and simplify the state’s alcohol laws and regulations.

Issues to address include:

  • The industry’s economic impact on the state.
  • Changes in the law and/or SLA resources to speed license application processing.
  • Laws addressing underage consumption.
  • Industry reform and modernization proposals as voted on by industry stakeholders.  

Officials said a number of common-sense changes to modernize the ABC Law will also include:

  • Allowing liquor stores to be open on Christmas day if they choose.
  • Allowing veteran’s organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts, to obtain licenses when a police officer serves as an officer of the organization.    
  • Allowing applicants to provide the required notice to their municipality or community board via email, if the municipality or community board elects to accept notice that way.
  • Permitting farm manufacturers more flexibility by allowing food trucks or other such businesses to operate on their premises.