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Missouri Senate passes bill to make to-go alcohol sales permanent

To-Go Liquor
Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 18:14:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate passed a bill Thursday that would permanently allow bars and restaurants to sell to-go alcohol.

During the COVID-19 pandemic with in-person dining prohibited at times, state law regarding to-go alcohol sales were suspended.

Senate Bill 283, which received its first read Thursday in the Missouri House of Representatives, would keep those changes in place after the pandemic.

Curbside patrons still would be required to purchase food and have a dated receipt. The bar or restaurant still would be required to place the alcoholic beverage in a sealed and leak-proof container, which is then placed inside a transparent and tamper-proof bag.

“The ability to provide beverage sales along with take-out meals was critical to many restaurants’ survival during the pandemic shut-downs,” Sen. Denny Hoskins, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement. “The experiment proved to be popular with consumers and resulted in no apparent increases in impaired driving or other problems. My legislation will allow restaurants to continue the service even after the pandemic has passed.”

Hoskins, a Republican, represents District 21 — which includes Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties.

The bill also would permit patrons to take home unfinished bottles of wine and liquor from restaurants with certain restrictions:

  • The customer must also have purchased a meal;
  • The restaurant must provide a dated receipt;
  • The restaurant must securely reseal the bottle or container.

“A person shall not be considered to have violated any state law or local ordinance regarding open containers in vehicles as long as such seal on the container is still intact,” according to language in the bill.

The bill also would expand Sunday alcohol sales at grocery and liquor stores from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Current Missouri law only permits Sunday sales from 9 a.m. to midnight.

The Kansas Senate passed a similar measure — House Bill 2137, which passed overwhelmingly in the House on March 2 — on Wednesday.