New law going into effect Thursday keeps to-go alcohol available in Virginia

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New laws going into effect this week will allow Virginians to keep purchasing to-go cocktails and allows for off-site consumption of beer and wine from different sellers. Altogether, there are seven laws that will impact the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

The extension of cocktails to go is established through HB1879 and SB1299. Sellers with an ABC license will be able to continue serving takeout drinks to customers for another year. The concept will be examined by the ABC over that year to identify any public safety issues.

As for beer and wine, HB1845 will allow businesses without a delivery permit to sell beer and wine for people to drink off site.

People used to buying all of their alcoholic beverages at the ABC store may have to make some changes. Starting Jan. 1 2022, SB 1428 there will no longer be low alcohol spirits-based beverages available at liquor stores, except for those manufactured in Virginia. Low alcohol applies to anything equal to or less than 7.5% alcohol by volume.

Two bills, HB2266 and SB1471, say that localities can adopt ordinances to allow more and longer special event licenses for the distribution of alcohol at designated outdoor refreshment areas. Alcohol consumption areas can be set up in “entertainment or walking districts.”

Non-profits with an alcohol license will be able to sell and ship low alcohol drinks like wine as part of virtual fundraising efforts with the implementation of HB1973.

Starting in July when HB2131 goes into effect, the ABC will have to make local chief administrators aware of pending ABC licenses in their locality.

Two more bills impacting the Virginia ABC are HB2168 and SB1465, which ban skills games starting on Thursday.

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