SB 236 | Mixed Drinks To-Go DOR FAQ & General Information

Posted By: Daniel New GRA News , Alcohol , State + Local Legislation , Restaurant Operations ,

On Friday, May 21, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) partnered with the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) to provide an overview of their SB 236 Retail Sale of Mixed Drinks To-Go FAQ Sheet. It goes over what an approved tamper, evident containers are, the definition of "entrée", who can sell mixed drinks to-go and more. In addition, the GRA submitted a few additional questions that DOR has clarified - 

  • Can a restaurant sell mixed drinks to go with Salad and/or Soup purchases if those are not listed under Appetizers/starters?
    • A: Dinner salads (not side salads) are permissible and should be sufficient.
  • If a person does not finish their meal and gets it to-go, can they purchase a mixed drink to-go or would the person need to purchase another entrée item? 
    • A: They would need to purchase a meal to-go in order to also purchase mixed drinks to-go.
  • Can a person purchase a meal and cocktail pick-up order through a 3rd party? 
    • A: If you mean through a friend or roommate, the answer is no. The person who places the order and purchases must be the person to pick up the order with alcohol. 
  • If a local government has no ordinance that mentions this, does that mean a restaurant can engage in sales of cocktails to-go?
    • A: If the local ordinance does not prohibit it, address this, or has no conflict with this law, then the State law prevails
  • Can a person pay for alcohol purchases online from a restaurant?
    • A: Yes, a person can purchase through online site as long as the same person who provided payment is picking up the order at the restaurant
  • Is there any limit on the size of to-go drinks?
    • A: The only requirement is that there is no more than three (3) ounces of distilled spirits in each drink

Restaurants should be aware that the Georgia State Patrol will begin a safety awareness campaign in late June/early July about Georgia's open container law and to discourage the opening of cocktail to-go containers before they are home. To learn more about ServSafe Alcohol training, please visit www.servsafe.com

If you have any further questions that have not been addressed, you may submit them directly to Daniel New, Director of Advocacy.