OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It was started as a way to help restaurants and liquor stores survive the coronavirus pandemic, but a bill that has been sent to the governor would allow the practice to continue.
In March, the Oklahoma ABLE Commission temporarily removed restrictions on alcohol delivery to people 21 years old and older.
The temporary approval included curbside sales and home delivery of certain alcohol products.
Although the order was supposed to expire May 15, some state lawmakers hope to continue the process far beyond the pandemic.
“As businesses were closed or operating under restricted procedures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) allowed restaurants, grocery and convenience stores and liquor stores to serve customers through curbside service and delivery. It’s a convenience people have really appreciated,” Sen. Roger Thompson said. “This legislation will allow businesses to continue to offer that service even after the pandemic. If someone is at home and would like to have a meal and a bottle of wine available for curbside service or delivered to their home, they’ll be able to do that.”
Under Senate Bill 1928, the delivery or curbside service of beer, wine, or spirits would be able to continue by establishments holding the proper license.
In other words, restaurants, grocery, and convenience stores would be able to provide curbside sales or delivery of beer or wine. Liquor stores would be able to provide the service for beer, wine, and spirits.
“I thank my fellow members for their support on this legislation,” Thompson said. “I think this is a major boost for the people of Oklahoma as we continue to modernize our liquor laws.”
Last week, the Oklahoma Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved the measure.
On Friday, the bill was sent to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his consideration.
“COVID-19 has temporarily shifted the way we work, interact with others and even disrupted our restaurant and alcohol habits,” said Lisette Barnes, president of the Oklahoma Beer Alliance. “But the ABLE Commission and government leaders have responded quickly and adapted to the situation by temporarily allowing for curbside sales and deliveries of alcohol. This change has been very popular with Oklahomans and is something we think should continue permanently. This legislation continues the Oklahoma Beer Alliance’s efforts to modernize our state’s alcohol laws in a way that is safe and benefits consumers.”
If the bill is signed by Gov. Stitt, the measure would go into effect immediately.