RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As of Monday evening, Virginia patrons will be able to continue to buy alcohol to-go from restaurants for two more years.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed House Bill 426 and Senate Bill 254, extending cocktails to-go until July 1, 2024. The bills would have expired July 1, 2022.

Requirements for cocktails to-go:

  1. Be enclosed in a container that has no straw holes or other openings and is sealed
  2. Display the name of the licensee from which the alcoholic beverages were purchased
  3. Be clearly marked with the phrase “contains alcoholic beverages”
  4. Have a maximum volume of 16 ounces per beverage for certain beverages
  5. Be stored in the trunk of the vehicle, in an area that is rear of the driver’s seat, in a locked container or compartment, or, in the case of delivery by bicycle, in a compartment behind the bicyclist during delivery

The bills originated as a response to COVID-19 as an economic relief measure via executive orders or other temporary measures. Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 12 others enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.

States that passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • The District of Columbia

“This revenue-generating measure has provided much-needed support for local hospitality businesses and increased convenience for Virginia’s consumers,” said David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “We thank Governor Youngkin and the legislature for extending cocktails to-go.”